Broadway theater opens its doos for pop-up performance

The Theater District is the heart of New York City, and Saturday's pop-up performance at the St. James Theatre was another step in the right direction. It was something people needed to boost their confidence that we are coming back from this pandemic.

Video Transcript

JOE TORRES: Now to the coronaviruses pandemic and a very important step forward on the road to reopening. A Broadway theater became the first to open its doors since all theaters were shuttered more than a year ago. Eyewitness News reporter Naveen Dhaliwal is at the St. James theater this afternoon. Naveen.

NAVEEN DHALIWAL: Yeah. Joe, Broadway and live performances are the heart of New York City. And this pop-up performance here at St. James theater is a glimmer of hope of what's ahead.

[APPLAUSE]

The curtain went up for the first time in a year at St. James Theater.

- We're very excited to be back in the Broadway theater after over a year. And I actually cannot think of a better person to welcome us back than Nathan Lane.

NATHAN LANE: I love theater.

NAVEEN DHALIWAL: You heard right. On that stage, a pop-up performance by the enormously talented Nathan Lane and dancer Savion Glover. Emotions were high.

SAVION GLOVER: Just being here with the great Nathan Lane and the whole crew. Just walking in the stage door, seeing a stage doorman, and being able to, you know, chill out with the crew. Everything is heartfelt.

NAVEEN DHALIWAL: The theater allowed 150 people inside. This performance is the first of 10 such events at Broadway theaters over the next 10 weeks. This is a pilot program to figure out how to safely open Broadway theaters with all safety precautions in place. It's something many are eagerly waiting for.

- I have full confidence that all the proper measures have been taken and we're just excited to be here.

NAVEEN DHALIWAL: Entertainment venues opening this week at 33% capacity. One step forward in the right direction.

- It signals the return of midtown. It signals the return of tourism. Signals the return of life to the city. And it's great to be a part of it.

SAVION GLOVER: We are happy. We are more happy today than we were yesterday.

NAVEEN DHALIWAL: Yeah. We sure are. Now, the theater district has been struggling to open as the limited capacity does not have a profit. And city officials have been working on a safe plan to lift that curtain back up once again. In the theater district tonight, Naveen Dhaliwal, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.