Jordan Roth stood next to West 52nd On the streets of New York City, fighting to hold back tears – joy, relief, pride, fatigue – in front of the August Wilson Theater, where Wednesday evening “Pass Over” became the first play to be performed on Broadway in 16 months.
He saw that the audience of the play was confined to the street, where there was a block party to transform the complex and bitter sweet emotion of returning to the theater into some clarity of joy. Silent for a moment, even trying to call out a few words, the four-time Tony-winning producer and president of the Juzamsin Theater প্রায় about seven feet tall পুরো was completely dwarfed, humbled by others by the dirty alchemy of emotion. Evening and uncertain how to interpret the unfolding scene.
“Is this all we thought it would be?” He finally let out a sigh. “And everything we never thought it could be? It was just imagined, we would be in the community and pour ourselves into the streets. That’s what came out of Antonet’s industry.”
“Passover” is not the first show to return to Broadway, written by Antonet Chinonie Nuandu and starring John Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood and Gabriel Ebert, as the industry closed in March 2020. -Style show, starting performance in June. But “Passover” is the first play – and the first of seven plays written by black writers – to bring Broadway back to traditional theatrical theater, with the goal of bringing the art’s long journey back to normal.
Revealing an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”, “Passover”, the two black men trapped under street lights dream about what heaven might be like and are constantly reminded of their captive violent energy. It’s a drama where men literally crave for a plague, a last resort to balance the vast inequalities of race, class and power.
On the street outside August Wilson – whose slogan burns with the words “Sun Come Up We Free” – Nwandu, who stood in the theater early in the evening to greet the audience – came out of the center porch to look at the crowd and address his audience.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for this night, for this moment, for all of us and for our city,” he said. “Do you know how crazy it is to write a play about the plague and then survive the plague? Now we are here together to tell this story of black joy. ”
Of course, his spectators were given masks and vaccinations as directed by the Broadway League for spectators until at least October. And, to cheer below, Nuandu thanks the crowd for his consent.
“I don’t love this country so much when I’m in theater,” he said, because theater is a small world of what can happen in the United States. We are all a little hurt, a little weird, and we stand next to each other to do something beautiful. “
In a real sense, the “passover” ী destructive and ambitious বুধবার implemented two coexistent realities of returning to Broadway on Wednesday: a celebration that could emerge from the industry, the need for vaccinations, and a year-long discussion between industry unions and trade bodies after the epidemic. And, on his return, accused of completely transforming his industry, ousted producer Scott Rudin and forced him to fight the system of systemic inequality and racism that hampered his organization.
“But that’s the drama,” Roth said. “It’s one of the best things you can do in the theater.