Broadway is back: 1st post-pandemic play opens for previews

Reopening NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It was a moment that Broadway waited 18 months to see as the first play opened Wednesday night for previews.

"Pass Over," a new play dealing with issues of race and police brutality, opened for previews at the August Wilson Theater.

The play opened to strict COVID protocols: Guests over 16 had to prove they were vaccinated and children could show proof of a recent negative COVID test.

The rules were designed months ahead of the city's mandate by the production's in-house epidemiologist, Dr. Blythe Adamson.

"We are sold out and we'll have confidence that all the butts in these seats are vaccinated and everyone will be required to wear a mask the entire time," Adamson said.

But as exuberant as the crowd was, the celebration of progress only goes so far.

Just 18 blocks away, some things are moving backwards.

The Javits Center should be gearing up for the Auto Show later this month, but on Wednesday, citing the delta variant, was canceled by organizers.

The CDC is warning that cases nationwide could triple by September.

With New York's relatively high vaccination numbers, public health experts don't expect another tsunami of suffering.

And on Broadway, the show is going on for an entire industry that used to support tens of thousands of jobs.

At Winzer Dry Cleaners, which cleaned costumes for more than a century, they feared they wouldn't survive. Owners Bruce and Sarah Barish had to see it for themselves as the curtain rose again.

"I'm overwhelmed to see this actually to be honest with you," Bruce said. "I think it's amazing to watch everybody walking in, everyone's psyched and prepared doing what they're supposed to do, hopefully the world will follow suit."

Wednesday night's show ended with a free block party outside, on 52nd Street, to celebrate the return of Broadway.
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