US Fans, performers — and local businesses — celebrate the return of Broadway
How Deaf Broadway’s ‘Into the Woods’ Offers a Clear Vision for Accessible Musical Theater
As Deaf Broadway’s creative team made the pivot from virtual performances to their inaugural live stage event for this fall, there were several production changes they had to consider. Among the first, says Deaf actress Alexandria Wailes, were pants. “You’ve got to understand that on Zoom, no one dresses from the waist down,” the Deaf […]“You’ve got to understand that on Zoom, no one dresses from the waist down,” the Deaf Broadway performer and Apple TV+ Little America actress jokes.
Big-name shows like Hamilton, Wicked and The Lion King are raising their curtains Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic began, as Broadway reopens at full capacity. But fans and performers are not the only ones excited for the return of the Great White Way — businesses surrounding the Midtown Manhattan theaters are as well, albeit with caution.
Alan Rosen, third-generation owner of Junior’s restaurant and bakery, is expecting a “big night” for his two locations in the Theater District.
“Broadway is just a barometer for New York City and it's a barometer for our business as well,” he said, adding that business has already crept up 10 percent sinceat the start of the month. “It's important to us.”
in New York, Broadway Revit with the return of its big musicals
© Spencer Platt / Getty Images North America / Getty Images Via AFP The crowd is pressed in front of Richard Rodgers Theater, New York, September 14, 2021. Closed since March 2020, Broadway's showrooms reopen this week to the public. The lion has revised since last night. It was almost a year and a half that the crowd of the big days had not obscured Broadway sidewalks, in the middle of New York.
Junior’s, a New York food and dessert staple, shuttered its three NYC properties at the start of the pandemic. Its downtown Brooklyn location reopened last summer, and the two midtown properties only opened back up recently.
Aside from a fire that led to a nine-month closure of the Brooklyn location in 1981, Rosen said that in Junior’s nearly 71-year history it has not endured anything like it has over the last 18 months. Although he said he is still “a little concerned” about Covid’s impact, heading into the winter, Rosen said he is finding relief in the fact that business is much better than it has been, now down only 30 percent from pre-pandemic times.
“Hopefully there's light at the end of this tunnel here and I'm looking forward to when we are 100 percent, not just in business but in our lives,” he said. “We're looking forward to welcoming back all our guests, just very excited that we survived."
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Broadway’s full return a “big night for New York City's comeback” at a press briefing on Tuesday, noting that it is bringing back “a lot of jobs.”
“This is really, really exciting,” he said. “This is about who we are as New Yorkers. We are the arts and culture capital. Broadway, and all of the arts and culture of the city, express the life, the energy, the diversity, the spirit of New York City.”
New York City’s tourism industry has suffered greatly during the pandemic, contributing an estimated 75 percent less to the city’s economy in 2020 than it did in 2019, according to an April 2021 report from the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Industry employment decreased by 89,000 jobs, or by over 30 percent, in 2020 as well. A 10-year-streak of record tourist growth came to a halt last year, with only 22.3 million people visiting the city, a decrease of 67 percent compared to the year before, according to the report.
Jenn Colella on returning to Come From Away for the 20th anniversary of 9/11
A filmed version of the Broadway musical hits AppleTV+ on Friday. On Friday, AppleTV+ debuts a filmed version of Broadway's Come From Away complete with much of the original cast, including Tony-nominated Jenn Colella as Captain Beverley Bass. The show, which was filmed earlier this year for an audience of 9/11 survivors and frontline workers, is premiering just before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Colella says it was a "no-brainer" to return to her breakout role for this special filming and the opportunity to reach a global audience in a new way.
Foot traffic levels in the heart of the Theater District are recovering. Total retail chain foot traffic in the Times Square Alliance Business Improvement District, an area that stretches from West 53rd Street down to West 40th Street, recovered 51 percent in August 2021 compared to August 2019, according to a report from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai. More specifically, dining establishment foot traffic recovered 55 percent, while hotel foot traffic recovered 61 percent for the same comparison period.
Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, which represents nearly 300 hotels across the city, said in an emailed statement that the industry is “hugely supportive of Broadway’s reopening” and is welcoming back fans. However, Dandapani also said it is still “too early to say if the occupancy has materially improved as a consequence, given that most sources of tourism, particularly the international market, remain closed.”
Peter Dafnos, president of Westway Diner, a restaurant located just one avenue away from multiple Broadway theaters, is also not jumping to conclusions.
Adapt or else: Downtown businesses cope with new reality
NEW YORK (AP) — Downtown businesses in the U.S. and abroad once took for granted that nearby offices would provide a steady clientele looking for breakfast, lunch, everyday goods and services and last-minute gifts. As the resilient coronavirus keeps offices closed and workers at home, some are adapting while others are trying to hang on. Some businesses are already gone. The survivors have taken steps such as boosting online sales or changing their hours, staffing levels and what they offer customers. Others are relying more on residential traffic. © Provided by Associated Press Shalia McCall fills drink orders at Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant, Friday, Sept.
“It's a day-by-day operation,” he said. “It's like starting from scratch.”
Although he said Broadway’s return “means a lot,” given the number of theater-goers, crew members and performers who usually make their way through Westway’s doors, Dafnos remains skeptical of a potential boost in business in the near future, especially given the usual September lull and the uncertainty of the delta variant of the coronavirus heading into the winter.
“We haven't done anything special in return for Broadway because again, it's a wait-and-see,” he said. “We've been in a holding pattern, as they say, just waiting to see what happens.”
Dafnos, whothat Westway’s business was down 95 percent at the time, is still waiting on 50 percent of pre-pandemic recovery. The restaurant still operates at reduced hours.
“At this point, if my business could make enough money to break even, I'm happy,” he said.
Other Broadway shows like Come From Away, Aladdin and Moulin Rouge are set to return in the coming weeks.
Jennifer Lawrence flaunts her BABY BUMP after revealing she's pregnant .
In exclusive pictures obtained by DailyMail.com, the actress, 31, showed off her growing bump in a pair of floral overalls during a stroll through New York City.