The crimson velvet seats on the Brooks Atkinson Theater on West 47th Street have been coated by tech tables of computer systems, cables and consoles operated by designers, administrators and stage managers. An viewers was not due till the primary preview on Friday evening.
But the anticipation was nonetheless excessive for a costume rehearsal of “Six,” the British musical dreamed up by two school college students that imagines the wives of Henry VIII as pop stars.
In one of many extra poignant examples of the pandemic’s toll on the theater, the musical’s opening evening turned out to be its closing evening as an alternative: The present had been scheduled to open March 12, 2020, the day Broadway shut down.
Now “Six” will discover out if the lack of 18 months has price the present any momentum; its unique opening had been buoyed by advance gross sales, a number of productions, a massively widespread soundtrack and followers who had been following the present since its 2017 premiere on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
So there have been effusive whoops and cheers from the crew in attendance when the curtain got here up on the present’s six queens, absolutely decked out in their sparkly costumes, glittering boots and — in some circumstances — crowns.
“We’re finding ways of readjusting the show to who these performers are now — who these queens are at this moment in time, who their 2021 selves are, where these songs are coming from,” stated Jamie Armitage, who directed the musical with Lucy Moss. “There’s a depth and fire to some of the performances which I haven’t seen before.”
“I think it’s the time away, realizing what theater means and what it means to congregate,” Armitage continued, including that the present’s theme was newly resonant: “The group is more powerful than the individual.”
The manufacturing’s numerous, all feminine solid and band — and its message of sisterhood and self-empowerment — additionally resonates with the teachings of the lockdown interval, particularly a heightened consciousness in regards to the significance of equal alternatives for ladies and folks of shade. The musical concludes by calling out “patriarchal structures.”
The costume rehearsal went easily, operating its 85-minute, intermission-free length with none obvious technical hitch. And after the confetti had fallen on the curtain name, the 2 administrators rehearsed the bows once more. Then they launched a brand new thought: The solid took selfies from the stage.
“Six” will begin previews on Friday, the identical evening David Byrne’s “American Utopia” begins a return engagement, as Broadway’s reopening gathers momentum. Another 28 reveals are scheduled to start performances earlier than the tip of the yr.
As the “Six” actors dispersed for a dinner break — earlier than returning to the theater for notes — Moss, who co-wrote the present with Toby Marlow, stated she was feeling cautiously optimistic.
“Until it’s open and running I’m not going to be like, ‘We’re back,’ because who knows what’s going to happen?” she stated. “It makes you very grateful for every moment in the room.”