This week marks Broadway’s largest in additional than a 12 months.
On Thursday, two main musicals had performances for the primary time since theaters had been shut down method again in March 2020: “Waitress,” starring Sara Bareilles, and the 2019 Tony winner for Greatest Musical, “Hadestown.”
Within the latter present, which runs on the Walter Kerr Theatre, Tony Award winner André De Shields performs Hermes, the storyteller who guides the viewers by means of the up to date fantasy of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The indomitable De Shields, 75, is happy, if cautious, about returning to the neighborhood the place he’s wowed audiences for many years in “The Wiz,” “The Full Monty,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and extra.
Right here, he tells The Publish what it’s like getting again on the boards.
You’re returning to Broadway this week after greater than a 12 months away. How does that really feel?
It’s been very thrilling … A part of the numerous feelings I’m feeling proper now could be this has a way of déjà vu. In 2019, we opened on Broadway and we did properly when it comes to Tony Awards, then the pandemic occurred, and for 18 months I didn’t have an energetic reminiscence of getting to go to the Walter Kerr Theatre for eight exhibits every week.
What had been you doing if you heard that Broadway was going to reopen?
I used to be on the Shakespeare Competition in St. Louis doing “King Lear.” I believed, “Ought to I pack my baggage and depart now? Is it that imminent?”
What was that first rehearsal after shutting down like?
As it’s for all Broadway households, after we got here again for the primary rehearsal, we wished to leap into one another’s arms and begin kissing. And you possibly can see the priority on every particular person’s face as we stopped ourselves mid-motion and mentioned, “Oh, wait a minute.” We’re nonetheless very beneficiant with our affection, however there’s a brand new protocol about loving folks now.
You’re again on the Walter Kerr Theatre. Are there new security procedures in place?
Jujamcyn [Theaters, which owns Walter Kerr,] could be very beneficiant when it comes to their protocols. They’re caring for us. Now we have to self-test at house twice every week. The theater has been refurbished; [we have] purifiers in our dressing rooms. We get checked on the stage door. Now we have to trade the masks we wore in for one they provide to us. Everyone seems to be taking care, as a result of we wish this time to stay.
Do you see your character, Hermes, in a brand new gentle now?
I do. He’s the creature who accompanies the human who’s making a go to to the Land of the Shades, which is what Hades is. So if you happen to have a look at it within the prism of the regeneration of Broadway, it’s the exact same sport. We now must danger going into the unknown — the Land of the Shades. We now must take care of the darkish a part of our personalities in an effort to regain the sunshine that we expect we misplaced through the pandemic.
What’s reopening night time going to be like?
We’re doing our first public efficiency as an invited gown rehearsal, and we’re doing it for first responders. We’re type of stacking the deck. It’s a must to love us, proper?!