The show goes on: Broadway returns after Covid to cheers and applause

Hamilton is one of the first shows to return to Broadway, a big moment for its fans and its creator Lin Manuel Miranda, ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

It was only meant to go dark for a month. When Broadway shuttered it’s theatres in March 2020 there were high hopes a short break would be all that was needed.

But Broadway, like much of the world, hadn’t banked on the havoc Covid-19 would cause. Last night, 18 months on, Broadway finally re-opened.

Along America’s most famous street they dusted off the props, limbered up and got back on the stage.

New York celebrates return of hit theatre shows. Credit: ITV News

The lights shone bright once more. It was a night heavy in symbolism and emotion. Broadway is the beating heart of New York, it’s recovery a moment of hope for the city and the country.

At the Richard Rodgers Theatre, home to Hamilton, the stage door was rather like a scene from a show; hugs, tears and cheers as the cast and crew returned. And there was no sign of Covid anxiety among the 1,300 ticket holders.

Hamilton's producer Jeffrey Seller talks of how relieved he is to resume work after 18 months

Masked and brandishing their vaccination certificates, what was evident was they delighted at finally swapping the screen for the stage.

Young and old relished the chance for the kind of escapism that had eluded them for so long.

Theatre fans express their joy after finally being able to watch in-person productions again

That everyone had to be vaccinated and wear a mask seemed a small sacrifice.

Broadway is hoping the safeguards make this is a permanent return, despite US Covid cases rising by 170,000 a day.

The United States doesn’t test and trace so there’s a chance Broadway will escape the sort of disruption London’s West End endured.

Howard Sherman, The Stage newspaper's US columnist, explained the importance of Broadway's re-opening to the cultural landscape of the city

It would need to, this is a $14 billion business for the American economy, and brings jobs to 100,000 people.

That’s aside from the joy of every performance for those on the stage and in the stalls.

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