More than one year after Broadway closed its curtains due to the pandemic, we woke up to the HollyGOOD news that three major Broadway shows––The Lion King, Hamilton, and Wicked–– are returning to Broadway in New York City starting September 14, and tickets are on sale now.
Broadway stars L. Steven Taylor (Mufasa in The Lion King), Krystal Joy Brown (Eliza in Hamilton), and Alexandra Billings (Madame Morrible in Wicked) announced the return of Broadway on Tuesday morning’s Good Morning America.
The announcement comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on May 5 that Broadway would reopen at 100% capacity, saying “Broadway is [a] major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again.”
NEW: Broadway shows will be ready to open September 14 at 100% capacity. Tickets go on sale starting tomorrow.
Broadway is major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 5, 2021
L. Steven Taylor on returning to the Broadway stage: “It’s kind of indescribable”
When L. Steven Taylor was asked what it will feel like for the curtain to be raised for the first time on Broadway in over a year, he said, “It’s kind of indescribable, that moment already in ‘Circle of Life’ is an iconic moment…My favorite thing to do is stand on pride rock and watch all the grown men cry,” he said to GMA. “From Rafiki’s opening call, it’s really a call for the community to come together and I feel like that’s what this is symbolic of, Broadway coming back is it’s really a community coming back and making New York really start to go.”
The wait is over. The Pridelands return to Broadway September 14, 2021. Tickets on sale now. pic.twitter.com/Y18NRS6pKd
— The Lion King – Musical (@TheLionKing) May 11, 2021
The return of Broadway will be more diverse and inclusive, too
As a mixed-race trans woman on Broadway, Alexandra Billings hopes that their work will “open a portal for dialogue for change, not just for Broadway but for the people that come to see us.”
Alexandra Billings isn’t the only Broadway star ready for change after the racial justice movement seen during the pandemic.
“This call for a change — has been going on for a long time and there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” L. Steven Taylor said on Good Morning America. “At Disney Theatrical we’ve been partnering with a lot of places to make sure that we’re actually supporting impactful, systemic change.”
Krystal Joy Brown helped to create the Hamilton Racial Justice Task Force to push for change while Broadway was shut down. “We’re creating a more diverse Broadway that will reflect back to our audiences in these beautiful historic houses,” she says.
“Broadway being diverse and inclusive is an amazing thing for all of us and once we’re back, we’ll be better than ever and New York City can revive as well,” she added in her interview with GMA.
Here’s to that!
A safe––and inclusive––return to Broadway
Broadway is doing a lot of work behind the curtain to make sure everyone feels safe and included as Broadway reopens.
“Bringing back Broadway means 100,000 jobs back in New York City, people doing their art and enjoying the theater again in person,” Krystal Joy Brown shared in an Instagram post. “But we are not ignorant to the fact that so many things have to change and it is time to do the work!”
“We’ve taken a lot of steps not only to make sure the theater will be safe for our audience members, but cast and crew have been trained in anti-racism training, also making sure that we as a brand are pushing forward social justice,” Krystal Joy Brown explained on GMA. “We realize that as a company — we can come together and do some amazing work so we created something called Plan for Progress — to continue to show equity and inclusivity in our community and hope this is the first step for Broadway to continue to do this type of work because we can make absolute change.”
Here’s to that!
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