Last year, on March 12, Broadway announced it would shut down — initially suspending plays and musicals for 32 days but eventually extending through the duration of the worldwide pandemic. Over the past months, however, conditions have been primed for Broadway to make a triumphant return.
Most recently, that meant the comeback of colossal hit and Broadway favorite Hamilton, which has officially returned to New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre after a year and a half of limbo. And who else should welcome it back to the boards but the creator and originator of the role himself: Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In a recorded introduction to the first showing of Hamilton since Broadway reopened, Miranda told the audience that despite the actors having rehearsed and practiced all through the pandemic in their apartments and homes, they were missing a key component: the audience.
“I don’t ever want to take live theater for granted again,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude for the support and work it took to get the show back on. “I want to thank frontline workers,” he said. “I want to thank the Actors Fund who has been keeping our community together in the year and a half that we have been trying to hold ourselves together … It took six years to get this on the first time, I’m so glad it didn’t take six years to come back.”
Broadway announced in July that show attendees would be required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks, which Miranda also referenced in his thanks. “Thank you for getting vaccinated and wearing a mask… and supporting live theater,” he said.
“I’m so grateful to you and I hope you go see as many shows as you can,” he said.