'Aladdin,' 'Lion King' performers spread the word with #BroadwayIsOpen

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- These past few weeks have been tough for Broadway, with some shows having to cancel performances or close entirely due to positive COVID tests within their companies.

Now that performances have resumed for Disney's "Aladdin" and "The Lion King," those involved planned a special curtain call Thursday.

The message is straightforward: Broadway is open.

"Get your phones out," Michael James Scott, who plays the Genie, told the audience. "OK? Get your phones out."

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Few industries were hit harder than live entertainment and particularly Broadway, which was in the dark for 18 months due to the pandemic, and the new push is part of an effort to spread the word on social media with the hashtag #BroadwayIsOpen."

"It was really for us to make sure that the word about Broadway still being open was loud and clear," Scott said.

He's one of the most upbeat performers on Broadway, but his patience was tested when his musical had to shut down after a few in the company tested positive for COVID.

"We went down for a second," he said. "We got right back up, and that's what we do on Broadway."

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So he said it felt especially great leading the "Aladdin" cast in a rendition of "New York, New York" before saying goodnight.

"Broadway is New York City," he said. "We are back, we are here, and we ain't going nowhere."

Disney Theatrical, which produces "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" is owned by the same parent company as ABC7.

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