“New York is back!” Alan Vanzandt yelled, brandishing two tickets to Stomp.
Whether New York City is truly back following the deadly — and still ongoing — COVID-19 pandemic remains a topic of contention. But the bright lights of the Great White Way are aglow for the first time since March 12, 2020.
Returning to the stage on Tuesday, Sept. 14, the likes of Wicked, the Lion King, and Hamilton welcomed hundreds of enamored audience members who excitedly lined up beneath the golden bulbs.
The fervor in Times Square was palpable Tuesday night as New Yorkers and tourists alike scrambled for the TKTS Discount Booth located underneath the red steps in Father Duffy Square on Broadway and 47th Street. Here, visitors hoped to be a part of the next step in the Big Apple’s comeback story: Broadway’s reopening.
Karen and Glenn Saito are tourists exploring New York City for the first time, and the couple wanted to enjoy the razzle dazzle of Broadway before they return home to Wisconsin with a pair of tickets from the TKTS Discount Booth in Times Square.
“We haven’t been here before. We are from Wisconsin, and we just thought we would come and see what’s available,” Karen Saito said. “It was very easy to get tickets. I thought it would be filled for opening night. I’m so excited.”
With ticket discounts ranging from 20% to 50%, tourists like Heather Locke from San Francisco also set to experience New York City’s style entertainment while visiting her sister.
“I’ve been to Broadway before, and I really like to see plays,” Locke said, proudly showcasing her ticket to see Lackawanna Blues, which made its debut on Broadway’s opening day.
From the ticket booth to the Richard Rodgers Theatre, people of all ages zigzagged over the curb, lit by the gold hue of the marquee. Some chatted about their thrill to be back while others held up signs to show their appreciation.
“I’m so excited, this is my first Broadway show,” Rory Goodwin said, sharing that Hamilton is one of his favorite musicals. After seeing a recorded version on Disney, he became an instant fan.
“It’s awesome, I’m looking forward to seeing the whole show!” Goodwin exclaimed.
His mother, Coleen Goodwin, waved her hands in the air and eagerly sauntered toward the Richard Rodgers Theatre for the opening of Hamilton after being closed for almost two years.
“We’re looking forward to Broadway’s comeback. We are coming back to see Hamilton again on Columbus Day weekend,” Coleen Goodwin said, stating that they were visiting from Rochester. “He’s very into theater and just to see people get back to life, masked up and just getting out there. It’s a historical moment!”