With Broadway inching toward reopening, one of its biggest stars is working to juice public excitement.
Grammy- and Tony-winner Patti LuPone — the star of dozens of Broadway productions, possibly most memorably, Evita — filmed a video promoting her industry's reopening. LuPone next stars in the revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, a musical set of vignettes on love and friendship in modern New York City (and it replaces the single male protagonist with a female one). In March 2020, LuPone and her castmates and crew were in previews, 10 days away from opening, when COVID forced the shuttering of all of Broadway's theaters.
"My hope had signicantly faded if not walked out the door, but if there's an upside from having to be away from my spiritual home for so long, it was that it made me realize how much theater means to me," LuPone says in the video.
Days after announcing that New York State will lift pandemic-related capacity restrictions May 19 for restaurants, bars, museums, concert halls, and theaters, including Broadway and other live-performance venues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that Broadway can reopen at full capacity September 14. The latter is a more realistic date for shows to be ready anyway, given the cost and logistics of mounting them.
On the website for Company, the first dates available for tickets are in late December.
"So I speak on behalf of our entire community when I say welcome back to Broadway," LuPone says, holding back tears. "When we're together again, it'll be one hell of a show."