It’s said, “there is a broken heart for every light on Broadway;” but when the lights of the Great White Way went dark one year ago today in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were more than broken hearts. There was shock from the unexpected announcement just hours before curtain and the fear and uncertainty of all the broken lives in the theatre community.
Broadway employs an estimated 97K people from onstage, backstage, front of house, to all the scenic and costume shops and generates $15B in annual revenue, more than all of New York City’s major league sports franchises combined. What was originally slated to be a “30 Day Shutdown” soon became Memorial Day, then Labor Day, New Years, and now the current date of June 1st, just ten weeks away, seems improbable even with the accelerated vaccination efforts.
Keeping hope and spirits alive during these darkest of days has been the heroic efforts of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS who has raised more that $18M for their COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
Usually at this time of the year BC/EFA would be fundraising at the end of every performance. There would be volunteers with their red bucket waiting to take donations and this is no exception. The need is still great and their gratitude for any donate big or small is boundless.
If you’re able please consider supporting BC/EFA directly through the link below. Thank You!
Shortly after Broadway went dark, this PSA began airing in NYC reminding New Yorkers that the show would go on again and this was only an intermission.
That being the case, we’d like to celebrate some of the greatest and most iconic Act I finale songs. The Act I finale is arguably the most important song in a musical because it’s has to make sure the audience comes back from intermission. Have no fear Broadway will be coming back from this intermission for sure.
From the Hello Dolly! the legendary Carol Channing reminds us to get some life back in our lives “Before the Parade Passes By.”
Patti LuPone and George Hearn singing “A Little Priest” from the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, Sweeney Todd.
Say Dreamgirls and every gay man knows the songs by heart.
The Act I finale “I am What I am” from La Cage Aux Folles became a gay anthem.
Speaking of anthems, “One Day More!”
If everyone loves a love story, then by extension, everyone must love a love song. It’s hard to imagine one more impassioned than “If I Can’t Love Her” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
“Anything Goes” when you’re tapping to Cole Porter.
Sometimes you just have to put your best foot forward and “Everybody Say Yeah!”
If there is one musical, that speaks to the year Broadway has been dark it is undoubtedly the Tony Award winning Ragtime. Stories of racial justice, immigration, and white privilege collide in an epic tale at the turn of the 20th Century foreshadowing the events and issues that will still be with us today. If there was ever a time for a revival, it is 2021. This is the unforgettable, “Till We Reach that Day.”