NEW YORK : More than a dozen Broadway musicals and plays are opening in September after the longest shutdown in the history of New York's theater district.
The 18-month-long pandemic closures threw hundreds of actors, musicians and dancers out of work, along with stage crews. Following are comments from some of them on how it feels to be back:
KENNY SEYMOUR, MUSICAL DIRECTOR, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"It was just a sigh of relief, it was a sigh of joy being back in the theater ... When you're with the show for a certain amount of time, everybody becomes family. So, it's like a family reunion."
JAWAN M. JACKSON, ACTOR, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"It's been a great time just being back with my brothers and feeling that energy again and not via Zoom."
JAMES HARKNESS, ACTOR, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"I missed the people, I missed the connection. I missed the brotherhood, I missed the sisterhood, I missed the family. And I missed performing."
SERGIO TRUJILLO, CHOREOGRAPHER, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"We need to get our company back in shape, we need to regroup them, we need to bring them together. So they're going to have yoga classes, spirituality classes."
MARIAND TORRES, ACTRESS, "HADESTOWN"
"I'm new to the cast completely. So I was meeting all these people, but I couldn't see what they looked like. So, it was really nice when we actually started working and were able to take our masks off and have this moment of like, OK, these are the people I'm going to be spending all this time with."
JELANI REMY, ACTOR, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"Stepping back into this building, knowing that it could be gone tomorrow, it gives me a deeper appreciation to really be present, to be wholehearted and to really give everybody something to take with them for the rest of their lives."
DES MCANUFF, DIRECTOR, "AIN'T TOO PROUD"
"I'm optimistic that we'll navigate our way through this. I was just in London opening a show there, and frankly, it was joyous. It was great. And we had some challenges, but we got through them."
DAVID ALAN GRIER, ACTOR, "A SOLDIER'S PLAY"
"When I left New York last March, I really wondered if I'd done my last show on Broadway because that's where we were at. I didn't know. I had no idea what was going to transpire for the world ... I feel really hopeful now."
(Reporting by Alicia Powell; Editing by Karishma Singh)