Road To Reopening Gets Some Comic Relief

Famed Carolines on Broadway is open again, must to the delight of the throngs of New York City comedy fans. CBS2's Lisa Rozner has the story.

Video Transcript

- The road to reopening reaches another milestone. Carolines on Broadway, the comedy club, held its first show in more than a year.

- Yeah, and with indoor dining and curfew restrictions removed, fans can now laugh longer. Here's CBS 2's Lisa Rozner.

YAMANEIKA SAUNDERS: Yeah, it was sold out. I mean, I almost didn't have a place to sit, and I was on stage.

LISA ROZNER: The Sunday night show at Carolines on Broadway, headlined by Donnell Rawlings, was a hit. Comedian Yamaneika Saunders performed, too.

YAMANEIKA SAUNDERS: It was amazing. I mean, there's nothing like coming down the stairs at Carolines. You're just happy to see people again.

LISA ROZNER: The owner of the iconic club filled about half of the 300 seats, all she can accommodate right now, due to difficulty finding enough servers and kitchen staff. After 15 months in the dark, Caroline Hirsch says she was able to reopen thanks to federal grants, expected to arrive next month from the Save Our Stages Act.

CAROLINE HIRSCH: It goes to getting everybody back to work. It goes to pay your electric bill. It goes to pay for food.

- They saved all of these small venues. I'm very, very moved by it.

LISA ROZNER: So moved, she made Senator Chuck Schumer, who sponsored the legislation, the headliner for the day.

CHUCK SCHUMER: $16 billion, a lot of which is going to flow to New York.

LISA ROZNER: And Carolines is now offering some shows exclusively for those who are fully vaccinated.

CAROLINE HIRSCH: We had a vaccinated show last night, our late show, and we sold every ticket we could.

LISA ROZNER: So one upcoming performer, Modi, added a vaccinated-only show.

MODI: Need to be laughing right now. Carolines on Broadway, June 17. Live, live, live!

LISA ROZNER: And for shows with audience members of varying vaccination status, fully vaccinated guests will sit-in the front half of the room.

CAROLINE HIRSCH: Times Square. I mean, we're the only show going on here right now. So it's the funniest show on Broadway.

YAMANEIKA SAUNDERS: Get me a mic, I will do standup, OK? I don't care where. Your mama's house, here, I'm on the stage. We're here to help them laugh along the way back to recovery.

LISA ROZNER: In Times Square, Lisa Rozner, CBS 2 News.

- We could all sure use a laugh. The Times Square Alliance says the number of people visiting the area has increased over the last few weeks.