More than a year since the lights dimmed on Broadway, the curtains are finally going up at three beloved shows.
On Tuesday, Disney on Broadway star L. Steven Taylor of The Lion King, Krystal Joy Brown of Hamilton, and Alexandra Billings of Wicked, announced live on ABC's Good Morning America that their shows will return Sept. 14 -- and tickets are on sale now.
"It's kind of indescribable," Taylor said of what it will be like when the curtain is raised for the first time since the pandemic shut down the Great White Way last year.
"That moment already in 'Circle of Life' is an iconic moment and from Pride Rock, I have a different special viewpoint," says Taylor, who plays Rafiki in the musical. "My favorite thing to do is stand on Pride Rock and watch all the grown men cry."
"From Rafiki's opening call [in the play], it's really a call for the community to come together," he adds. "And I feel like that's what this is symbolic of: Broadway coming back is...really a community coming back and making New York really start to go."
Billings said she's telling herself, "I'm so grateful and I'm so honored to be a part of telling this story."
In March 2020, 31 Broadway productions closed when the coronavirus pandemic began. Many were hopeful that it would reopen within months of closing, but the date kept being pushed back as more restrictions went into effect.
As a result, theaters offered refunds and exchanges for tickets that had been purchased. Nearly 97,000 Broadway workers also had to pivot to other jobs to stay financially afloat over the past year.
Now, performers like Taylor, Brown and Billings say they're thrilled to safely welcome audiences back to theaters this fall in accordance with local and federal COVID-19 guidelines.