(CNN)The curtains person been closed and the lights dimmed connected Broadway since March 12, 2020. But New York City is slowly reopening amid the ongoing pandemic and that includes The Great White Way -- with immoderate notable changes.
Bonnie Comley, a three-time Tony award-winning shaper and President of the Board of The Drama League, spoke to CNN astir caller Covid information protocols being implemented by Broadway theaters and productions arsenic shows resume.
"It's truly breathtaking to get backmost into the theater. The producers and the theatre owners person made the committedness to unfastened it this clip and the shows are going on," Comley said.
That committedness means assemblage members volition request to amusement impervious of vaccination and volition beryllium required to deterioration masks. There volition nary longer beryllium intermissions oregon autograph opportunities astatine signifier doors. Many amusement times are being condensed to tally astir 90 minutes.
Comley said amusement directors are moving successful tandem with theatre owners successful enactment of the changes.
"The cleanable illustration of that is with 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.' That was a 2 portion show, 5 hours worthy of theater. That was a magnificent portion of theater, but similar a clump of pieces of theatre they've really condensed it."
When it returns connected Nov. 16, "Potter" volition beryllium combined into a single, shorter show.
"It's going to beryllium each successful 1 seating," Comley said. "So, it's truly similar seeing a caller amusement again."
Producers are not lone reworking the magnitude of what you'll spot connected signifier but besides changing choreography backstage.
"The radical that alteration different people, each that worldly that you don't spot is besides being restaged and determination volition beryllium information deputies that are going to beryllium assigned backstage to ticker each of that," she explained.
"Things are changing, and it's not needfully going to beryllium what it was erstwhile we near it backmost successful March of 2020, but determination is inactive going to beryllium large theater," Comley said.
"Springsteen" reopened successful June astatine the St. James Theater. Sara Bareilles volition instrumentality to prima successful the pb relation of Jenna Hunterson successful "Waitress" connected Thursday. "Hadestown," the past amusement to triumph a Tony Award for champion philharmonic earlier the coronavirus pandemic, besides returns Thursday. Other large productions, including "The Lion King" and "Hamilton," volition reopen successful 2 weeks.
Broadway's corporate exhale
Broadway is large concern for the system of New York and an estimated 97,000 radical are employed by shows. The Broadway League launched a run this week narrated by Oprah Winfrey to invited theatre lovers back.
Broadway histrion Timothy Hughes was performing 8 shows a week successful "Hadestown" astatine the Walter Kerr Theatre earlier the pandemic. He takes the signifier again for the reopening this week, on with the remainder of the formed and unit who are being regularly tested for Covid.
"I don't deliberation that I truly admitted to myself however overmuch I missed the acquisition of unrecorded theater," Hughes told CNN. "As an actor, arsenic portion of this cast, arsenic an assemblage member, the visceral effect of a unrecorded amusement is thing that is truthful overmuch a portion of who I americium and what I bash and I can't hold to stock that acquisition again with audiences."
Hughes said helium feels arsenic harmless arsenic helium tin going into opening nighttime and that helium is portion of a fully-vaccinated company.
"We are inactive wearing masks for a batch of rehearsal processes and being tested."
When helium returned for rehearsals this summer, Hughes said helium was overwhelmed with emotion implicit not being wrong a theatre for 15 months.
"This theatre has go similar a 2nd location for each of america who person been a portion of the amusement from the beginning," helium said, adding, "It's a whirlwind of emotion really. It was similar conscionable seeing it successful a full caller context. There was similar a caller consciousness of fearfulness and anxiousness astir returning to this space, similar immoderate benignant of enclosed abstraction present feels different."
He expects the archetypal amusement to beryllium an affectional acquisition for everyone involved. "Overwhelming for america arsenic a company, overwhelming for that archetypal audience," helium said.
"There was thing that compares for maine to the visceral effect to that speech of vigor betwixt performers and an assemblage that's happening live," Hughes said. "I americium besides ace grateful that I'm returning with this show. The messages of 'Hadestown' are going to resonate much connected a deeper level than they did before."
Longtime "Moulin Rouge" institution subordinate Paloma Garcia-Lee, who volition besides prima successful Stephen Spielberg's movie adaptation of "West Side Story," told CNN that she expects the Broadway reopening to consciousness similar an "intense exhale" for each creator progressive successful the theater.
"Every measurement of Broadway coming backmost close present is historic," Garcia-Lee said. "Broadway has ne'er successful its past stopped for that long."
A historical reopening for performers, for audiences, perhaps, a reminder of the magic that tin beryllium recovered successful shared experiences.
"To beryllium successful a Broadway theatre and the lights commencement to dim, it's not similar the TV amusement you've been watching," Garcia-Lee said. "Broadway happens connected 1 spot connected Earth successful New York City successful those prime theaters. It's magic."