Disney on Ice makes post-shutdown return
This week, Disney on Ice returns to New York City for the first time since the COVID shutdown with “Mickey’s Search Party” (which combines ice skating with aerial feats while highlighting various familiar Disney properties) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I actually went to see it last weekend when it played the Prudential Center in Newark.
According to Tristan Josef, the tour manager for the production, nine Disney on Ice productions were running around the world in March 2020. Over the past year, the shows have begun to reopen in the U.S., originally playing only at arenas in cities where live performance was permitted while incorporating safety measures such as face masks and reduced audience capacity to allow for social distancing. “There was a lot of trial and error, but we were the first large-scale family entertainment to make a comeback and trailblaze a path forward from the pandemic,” Josef said. “The response this season has been incredible. So many people are hungry for the experience of a live event. We’ve even seen couples with no children going on dates to the show.”
MTA revives 1977 Broadway ad campaign
A well-remembered 1977 MTA-meets-Broadway ad campaign, which used the slogan “The Only Sure Way to Make It To Broadway” and featured actors from various shows running at the time (including “Grease,” “The Wiz,” “Annie,” and “Hello, Dolly!”) riding the subway in costume, is getting a revival. As part of its “Welcome Back New York” campaign, the MTA has released a new ad which pays homage to the original by using actors from current Broadway musicals including “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Six,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Phantom,” “Chicago,” and “Waitress.”
Billy Crystal returning to Broadway in ‘Mr. Saturday Night’
Billy Crystal, who won a Tony Award for his one-man show “700 Sundays,” will return to Broadway in the spring in a musical adaptation of his 1992 film “Mr. Saturday Night,” which will begin previews at the Nederlander Theatre (currently home to “The Lehman Trilogy”) on March 1. The show (which recently had a workshop run at Barrington Stage in MA) will have songs by Jason Robert Brown and Amanda Green. Crystal will once again play stand-up comedian Buddy Young Jr.
Greg Kinnear to join ‘Mockingbird’
Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear, who was on the verge of taking over as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” prior to the shutdown, will finally join the Broadway production on Jan. 5. Jeff Daniels, who originated the role of Finch and rejoined the show when it reopened last month, will give his last performance on Jan. 2.
Breakthrough cases at ‘Chicken & Biscuits’
The feel-good family comedy “Chicken & Biscuits” announced Tuesday that it was cancelling three performances through Thursday due to breakthrough COVID cases that were detected within the company. “This show must go on, and we will work over the next several days to determine the path forward,” the producers said in a statement.
Broadway vaccination policy extended and revised
Broadway’s vaccination rules have extended through the end of February and updated to address children under 12 (who can now attend with a fully vaccinated adult by presenting proof of either having received one vaccine dose at least 14 days before the performance date or a negative test result) and international guests (who can present proof of any “mix and match” combination of an FDA or WHO approved vaccine).