The expression “they bark, then we ride” also applies to Broadway. Because there is talk and gossip again – for better and for worse – about things that happen in the theater district of New York.
The period of silence, of emptiness in its streets, ended. A clear sign that this institution in the heart of Manhattan has been reborn after 18 months of confinement due to the pandemic, an unimaginable closure, which had never happened in its history. A dark hole in which the neons illuminated no one, waiting for their Godot in the form of an audience. She arrived.
Attendance is not like in pre-pandemic, but the theater district vibrates again
Spectators are already here, in clear progression although still in smaller numbers than before covid, to enjoy the shows – or not, there is everything – and provoke controversy, a circumstance so idiosyncratic in this world of entertainment and the glamour.
You just have to fix a couple of recently recorded situations. The Helen Hayes Theater, where the successful revival of Take Me Out is being performed, has installed an infrared camera that captures high-resolution images of the audience for easy identification. It is an intimidation measure with the aim of preventing videos of what happens on stage from being made.
Despite the fact that attendees were previously required to put away their smartphones during the performance, this did not prevent someone in the stalls from recording the nude of actor Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy on television), images that were broadcast on the internet with a lot of buzz on social media.
The other controversy was registered in the musical Company, on the stage of the Bernard B. Jacobs. Once the performance was over, there was a question and answer session with the actors. Patti LuPone, one of the Broadway veterans, criticized a person for the misuse of the mask. “Put the mask over your nose, that’s the rule, and if you don’t follow it, fuck you,” she yelled Luppone.
Then this dialogue between actress and spectator arose.
-Who do you think you are?
You don’t respect the people sitting around you.
We pay your salary.
-Silly stuff. My salary is paid by Chris Harper.
Hugh Jackman, favorite to win the Tony for best musical actor on June 12
Two attendees left the room with signs of indignation. Harper, who is the producer, issued a statement fully supporting Luppone.
Apart from barking, where it is best certified that The Great White Way is ridden again – the great white way, as this theatrical mecca is nicknamed – is in the Winter Garden.
In this venue Hugh Jackman dazzles with The music man. This interpretation makes him the favorite to win the Tony (the sector’s Oscar) for best musical actor on June 12.
His work is decisive for the Winter Garden to be number one in terms of the cost of tickets, 282 dollars on average, which means that they are the most sought after, according to data from the last week. It is the weekly collection leader (3.3 million), a section in which it surpasses Hamilton, the dominant musical until it closed due to confinement. The only theater at 100% capacity, with 12,268 tickets sold, although the classics The Lion King Y Aladdinwhich remained at 97% and 95% occupancy, surpassed him in that section.
The presence of a filmmaker like Jackman is not an isolated issue. Hollywood acts as a guarantor in this stage return. Screen stars have always had a fondness for Broadway. Rarely, however, have so many coincided at the same time.
Along with Williams and Jackman, on the bill are Daniel Craig (from Bond to Macbeth); the popular New York couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick (in Plaza Suite they do the same, as a married couple); the inexhaustible Billy Crystal (Mr, Saturday Night); Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne (American Buffalo); Beanie Feldstein (Funny girl); Mary-Louise Parker (How I learn to drive). To name just a few.
These names integrate the resurgence of one of the main industries of the city. The data of the Broadway League (BL) so far this season reflects a collection of about 800 million dollars gross and 6.4 million viewers. The (gross) result of last week amounted to 30.4 million, with a small drop compared to the 31.1 million of the previous count.
These figures are still lower than the pre-pandemic, in part because tourism has not yet fully recovered. Unlike the mandatory use of the mask in the 41 theaters of the district, the order to request the vaccination card was lifted. Following the New York guidelines, this is left to the discretion of each company. The vast majority of venues have chosen not to claim this test as a measure to gain public.
In the Winter Garden there is a queue, but the wait has become more agile by not having to show the health certificate. A woman of a certain age answers the question of whether she is calm surrounded by possible unvaccinated. “I’m from Minnesota.” And she pronounces it as if it were a declaration of principles.