"We're back": Broadway's biggest shows return after longest shutdown in history

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Some of Broadway's biggest shows returned Tuesday night, with theater icons Kristin Chenoweth, Julie Taymor and Lin-Manuel Miranda welcoming fully vaccinated and mask-wearing audiences.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic forced Broadway shows to close for 18 months — the longest shutdown in Broadway history, the New York Times reports.

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State of play: Some of theater's most popular musicals, "Wicked," "Chicago," "The Lion King" and "Hamilton," opened on Tuesday — the day former Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Broadway shows could reopen at 100% capacity.

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  • Chenoweth welcomed "Wicked's" audience, Taymor welcomed "The Lion King's" and Miranda welcomed "Hamilton's" — all to standing ovations.

  • Yes, but: The shows were not the first nor the only ones to reopen. Two other big musicals, "Hadestown" and "Waitress," reopened on Aug. 22, per AP.

The audience during curtain call of the Broadway reopening of "Wicked." Photo: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images

Michael McCormick, Ginna Claire Mason, Stephen Schwartz, Lindsay Pearce, Sam Gravitte and cast during curtain call of the Broadway reopening of "Wicked." Photo: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images

Jin Ha as "Aaron Burr", Krystal Joy Brown as "Eliza Hamilton," Miguel Cervantes as "Alexander Hamilton" and cast take the curtain call at the re-opening of "Hamilton." Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

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