The Days Are Getting Longer. The sun is coming out Number of vaccinated New Yorkers Grows every day.
And now, more than a year after the coronavirus epidemic, the curtain suddenly dropped in the city’s theaters and concert halls, performing Broadway and comedy clubs alike, the performing arts are beginning to bounce back.
Like budding flowers in time for spring, music, dance, theater and comedy A vigilant return began As places this week Permission to reopen With limited capacity – in most cases, the first time since March 2020.
But the epidemic remains in New York and across the country. New York City is still a coronovirus hot spotWith the new cases, around 25,000 are stubbornly catching up in a week. With a rush to vaccination, variants persist. And at least one set of performance Already postponed Because of positive tests.
All of which want arts institutions to strike a delicate balance between the constant public health concerns and the desire to serve New Yorkers eager for a sense of normalcy.
New York Times reporters visited some of the first indoor performances, and spoke with leading audience members and staff, who led them inside. Here they have seen.
Dance in Guggenheim
Isaac Alexander, 25, was walking into the Guggenheim Museum with headphones on Wednesday evening, dancing to the beat of Beryl the Great.Vogue Workout Pt. 5“And carelessly voguing as he passed the apartment buildings on the upper east side.
He was on his way to support a friend in the work Dance Family at Master Dance, a performance group led by Courtney Tupanga Washington, a trans-women’s choreographer from the ballroom scene. Once Alexander arrived at the museum, he was guided to the Guggenheim’s Rotanda and shown a spot to stand alongside its spiral ramp. Like other audience members, he was asked to leave immediately after the show as a security measure.
“You can take any place, put a stage in it, invite people in, and you can make it a ball,” said Alexander, who dances in a ballroom scene.
The show – a fusion of street dance, ballroom and hip-hop – was allowed in Rotanda after being inspected and given in the state Work and process Create a special distribution chain to capture socially distorted performances. The cast of Nine spent two weeks together in a quarantine bubble in New York, their accommodation, food and coronavirus testing with Washington while they rehearsed.
With a pounding beat in the background, the dancers walked through complex structures, some waiting on the outskirts as Solos and the couple took the spotlight. Popping and locking, pyrouting, somersaulting, duck walking (a low, bouncing walk) and cat walk (a stylized walk with popping hips and severed shoulders) were exacted in synchronity.
Stepping down from his perch, Alexander amused the dancers during their 30-minute work. He said that he had not seen a show since January 2020 before the epidemic stopped. As an artist who gets ideas from watching her peers, she was happy to see the live performance.
“Now that we’re opening back, I feel like my wings are coming back,” he said. “Inspiration is coming back.” Julia Yacoub
A sound show from broadway
It was midday on Friday, an unusual time for a show but still not an opening time “Blindness,” At the Daryl Roth Theater. Only about 60 people were allowed to attend. Tied in parks, they stood on the sidewalk on the side of East 15th Street, standing on green dots.
The mayor arrived at Bill de Blasio, an off Broadway sound show that was an element of pomp. Staff members at the theater donated emerald green jackets and green face covers – “Green for Go!” One employee said – that the smile betrayed his eyes. For about 10 minutes, the scene near Union Square felt like a cross between a political campaign event and a Hollywood premiere.
“This is a really powerful moment,” said de Blasio on the stairs of Daryl Roth’s entrance. “The theater returns to New York City. The curtain goes back up, and something amazing happens“
He and producer Daryl Roth, the theater’s namesake, welcomed patrons waiting to go inside. Some thanked Meyer for helping to ensure that the performing arts return. Some asked for a selfie; Others exchanged wrist and elbow bumps. There were theatergoers celebrating birthdays, people eager to post on social media, and an artistic director from San Francisco who came to do some research on security whenever he reopened his playhouse.
As the audience members entered the theater, they placed their wrists on a machine that checked their temperature. An usher led them to their seats, which came in pods and spread under a maze of fluorescent tubes. Once everyone was settled, a welcome message came from the speakers; It was greeted with a cheer.
The small crowd took the headphones out of a seal bag hanging on their chairs, and fitted them to their ears. A couple held hands. A man closed his eyes. And “Blindness,” an immortal audio adaptation of the dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning novelist Jose Saramago, began.
For the next 75 minutes, audience members heard about a city plagued by an epidemic of blindness. For a long time, the people in their seats were immersed in total darkness; But at the end of the show, there were Glimpse of light.
“It was very well-known,” Dean Leslie, 58, said after the show. “One of those moments that really resonates with me – when I got back on the road.”
“It’s poetic,” he said. “It’s something we’ve all lived. This is something we have just shared. “Matt Stevens
Set in comedy cellar
“Make sure they are practicing social disturbances!” A security guard is summoned as the other man descends into the dimly lit basement of the comedy cellar.
Around 50 audience members – mostly crowds of 20-somethings who were lovers enough to snap online tickets – settled around their tables for the club’s first live show in over a year.
Outside, two 23-year-old children waited on the sidewalk through the waiting list; They had moved to New York City in the fall and had chosen to live together in the West Village because of nearby music venues and comedy clubs, neither of which were able to see them until Friday.
27-year-old John Tauhey, who was lucky enough to get tickets for this first show, said the reason for his arrival was simple: “just feeling something again.”
Down at the club, the show’s host, John Lester, stepped on stage with a victorious Yale, “Comedy Seller, how do you feel?” Some audience members immediately removed their masks upon arriving at their tables; Others waited until their food and drinks arrived.
The epidemic was an unavoidable topic of the night: it had affected the lives of everyone in the room for the past year. The leopards calmed the mostly white crowd, where they escaped during the epidemic months (Kansas City, Mo., Savannah, Ga., Atlanta). As he introduced each comic on stage, he unplugged his mic, allowing the cast to insert their clean microphones, whose rounded tops had disposable covers that looked like miniature shower caps.
Only a third of the space’s capacity was allowed, but laughter from the small crowd filled the room. And the comedians spoke to audience members as if they were old friends who were separating after a year. Gary Widder joked about his new baby; Tom Thakkar celebrated his drunk when President Biden won the election; Colin Quinn wondered why the metro still stands without congestion; And Jackie Fabulous tells stories about living with her mother again for the first time in 20 years.
Rushing through his set, Fabellas pauses and takes a breath.
“I think adrenaline,” he said. “It’s finally calming down.” Julia Yacoub
Music in the shed
Towards the final third of a performance that had mixed sound, classical cello, operative vocals, pop music, and more, Kelsey Lu emerged in a pink, floral dress and offered a proclamation: “Spring has sprung.”
A crowd of about 150 created a commotion inside the ventilated McCourt space of the shed. And when Lou’s performance ended, audience members did something they hadn’t been able to do indoors for more than a year: they gave a standing ovation.
“You can feel it,” said Ged Perez, the shed’s chief visitor experience officer. “The excitement, the fun, the energy of a live show – there’s nothing like it.”
McCourt creates the shed’s flexible indoor-outdoor venue, a sinuous shape (17,000-sq-ft) and a high-quality air filtration system. Attendees entered through doors that went directly into space, and their temperature was quickly checked. Digital programs were called on smartphones using a bar code on the arm of the seats, paired singles and about 12 feet from the platform and six feet or more from each other.
Staff tested the audience with bullets. Ticket holders were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Kovid-19 test; He scrolled to his phone to fetch it. Once cleared, he stepped into the timed-entry line: one at 7:40 pm and the other 10 minutes later.
“I’m an essential worker,” said 37-year-old letter carrier Roxxen Dobbs. Have fun
Ian Plowman, her husband, said: “I think we’re on the edge of next term, in New York next time.”
Before and after the show, people caught sight of old friends and stopped to chat in their seats. One woman congratulated the other on receiving the coronovirus vaccine. One person bowed to a friend and commented: “That’s great!”
Alex Poots, artistic director and chief executive officer of The Shade, said he became very emotional by the evening and thought of Lou as describing the spring awakening.
“Very beautiful,” he said. “I missed it so much.” Matt stevens