‘People are coming out because it’s time’: Broadway makes its return to RVA

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 11:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After more than 20 months away from the Richmond scene, Broadway made its return back to the Altria Theater on Tuesday after the pandemic prematurely ended its 2019-2020 season.

This is technically Broadway’s 13th season back in Richmond at the Altria theater. The last performance shown at the Altria theater was “Cats” back in February.

Richmond Broadway spokesperson, Cindy Creasy, says Broadway is kicking off its return with a performance of “Anastasia” - the story of a young girl trying to reclaim her past while navigating an unsure future. Anastasia will play the show a total of eight times through the weekend.

“This is the perfect show to start off our season with because the past has been a little rough. We’re all trying to get in the mix of it to make sure the future we’re laying down is a good one,” Creasy said.

But the pandemic has ushered in a new era of safety protocols. Creasy says IDs and vaccine cards are checked at the door, and masks are also required to be worn during the entirety of the performance.

“What we’re doing for this show is encouraging everyone to wear a mask. They need to be able to show proof of their vaccination, and if they haven’t been vaccinated but still want to come - if they can have a negative test in the last 72 hours, they will be allowed to be admitted,” Creasy said. “Children that are 12 and under, they don’t need an ID, but they do need a negative test as well.”

The extra precautions didn’t seem to keep people away from Tuesday’s opening night. An hour before the show, long lines stretching around the theater’s perimeter could be seen as patrons rushed in to catch the show. Many who showed up say Broadway’s return is a sign of things getting back to a pre-pandemic normal.

“To be able to come back and to witness it first hand, it just feels like we are back among the land of the living and that Richmond is coming back to life, said Tanza Westry. “People are coming out because it’s time.”

There is also some good news for those who held onto tickets from the 2019-2020 season.

Select canceled performances from the 2019-2020 season will also be making a comeback next Spring. Creasy says that all performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Band’s Visit” will be honored for those who still have those tickets.

For more information about the rest of the Broadway performances this week and its upcoming season, click HERE.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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