The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Kristen Stewart plays Lou in Love Lies Bleeding. 
Photo Courtesy / YouTube A24
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Celina Mullady, Asst. Culture Editor • April 11, 2024
Torch Photo / Abigail Grieco
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Abigail Grieco, Features Editor Emerita • April 11, 2024

Welcome Back Broadway

The Experience of Watching Live Theater Again!
TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Rodia
TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Rodia

Six hundred thirty-seven days. That’s how long it had been since I had sat in a theater to see a Broadway show. That is, until Sept. 18 when I was finally back in a theater among my fellow vaccinated Broadway lovers to see “Hadestown”, one of my all time favorite shows. Sitting in the Walter Kerr Theater felt surreal to me. It honestly didn’t even hit me that I was seeing a Broadway show again until André Robin De Shields (Hermes) stepped out onto that stage. Being back in that theater was an amazing experience and having the pleasure to see Hadestown again with its amazing cast and Eva Noblezada (Eurydice), who I was heartbroken to miss the first time I saw that show over two years ago, was incredible. In fact, it was so amazing that when I went searching for “Moulin Rouge!: The Musical” tickets and saw they still had tickets available for opening night – I bought them right away.

“Moulin Rouge!” reopened on Sept. 24 and it was unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Seeing a show reopen after being closed for 561 days was an experience I will never have again in my lifetime. The energy in the crowd was something I had never encountered in a show before. The second Aaron Tveit (Christian) stepped out onto the stage, everyone was on their feet and cheering—now, in case you’ve never been to a Broadway show before, this is not typical by any means. And this was a common occurrence throughout the entire show. At the end of almost every number, everyone was on their feet cheering. As opposed to the single standing ovation that usually occurs at the conclusion of the show, “Moulin Rouge!” got probably about 10 standing ovations throughout that night.

TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Rodia

Aside from the energy in the audience upon being back at the reopening of “Moulin Rouge!”, the actors seemed beyond happy and blessed to be back on that stage performing for an audience again. There were moments that I swore I caught Tveit holding back a smile from the pure happiness of performing for a live audience. The bows at the end were so full of joy from a cast and crew who had finally made it to the light at the end of the tunnel, especially for Natalie Mendoza, who had made her debut as Satine in “Moulin Rouge!” that night. 

After seeing “Moulin Rouge!”, I moved on to see “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Come From Away” this past week. Both were so exciting and I still feel the buzz of excitement from everyone in those theaters. I was especially excited watching Jeremy Jordan play Seymour in “Little Shop of Horrors”—half the reason I bought those tickets was just to see him! Just seeing these actors back on the stage performing was an amazing feeling. You could tell they were just so happy to be back.

TORCH PHOTO/ Sara Rodia

The reopening of Broadway has been everything I hoped for and could have wanted. I’ve felt immense excitement and  had once in a lifetime opportunities. Nothing will ever compare to the energy I felt in “Moulin Rouge!” reopening night and the excitement I felt sitting in those theaters to see “Hadestown”, my first Broadway show back, and seeing Jordan live again. I consider myself so blessed that I have been able to see so many phenomenal shows since Broadway reopened and I cannot wait to continue to see more. My next concrete stop is “Six” in December, but you can guarantee you’ll catch me at multiple shows far before that!

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About the Contributor
Sara Rodia, Opinion Editor Emerita
Sara is a fourth year English major with a minor in Sociology who is severing her second year as Opinion editor. This year Sara hopes to continue expanding the opinion section and get more counter angles for stories. Outside of being an editor for the Torch, Sara teaches gymnastics to younger children! You can reach Sara at [email protected].
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