The Show Must Be Put on Pause

The Show Must Be Put on Pause

Hannah Burrell, Staff Writer

The spread and pandemic of COID-19 has not only caused gyms, schools, and stores to shut down, but also Broadway. The theater term of “The show of must go on”, isn’t the case at this time. When it comes to high school theater programs however, shows that were either in the middle of performing or in the progress of opening, don’t get the chance due to the school and all of its school activities being shut down. After hearing from multiple sources of gratifying West Boca Drama Department’s spring musical Sister Act was, it seemed right at the moment that when director, Lance Blank, announced on the last night of closing how amazing it would be to have a revival in just a few days. Withal how much the department wanted this revival to alive and better than the first two weeks, it’s sad that they won’t be able to perform Sister Act one last time. Specifically when it comes to the seniors, a lot of the events that they were excited about and looking forward to and experiencing either for the first time or last time, is no longer happening; most of their theater events were cancelled due to COVID-19. For example,  The Florida State Thespian Festival was cancelled due to how drastic the cases and deaths in Tampa have escalated the following days. Cappies, an international program that recognizes and celebrates high schoolers that publish student reviews for high theater. In May, Palm Beach and Broward high school shows that were nominated, get to come together at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts to show their love for theater by being rewarded. This year, cappies recognized West Boca High School’s spring musical, Sister Act by giving them 12 nominations. In spite of how amazing that that sounds, Cappies was sadly canceled this year and has to be mainstreamed online this year with no awards received. Another awards ceremony that not only was West Boca willing to be of, but a lot of other schools in Palm Beach County was Dream Awards. Similar to Cappies, Dream Awards is an awards ceremony that takes place at the Kravis Center for Performing Arts that dedicates and recognizes high school theater students located in Palm Beach County. The only thing that is different with Dream Awards, is that instead of students determining what show is superb or not, it’s decided by professionals. Last year, West Boca won Outstanding Musical for the musical Hairspray they did that spring. The thing that is great about Dream Awards is that at the end of the showcase, two talented students will be given the opportunity to take part in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, which takes place in New York City. Last Year, no student from West Boca was selected in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, but they were glad enough to win Outstanding Musical. They were excited to do it again this year and try to win again for their spring musical of Sister Act, but it was decided just a few weeks ago that Dream Awards was to be canceled due to COVID-19. It’s sad to know for the theater world in the perspective of high school students who can’t experience their show or event for the first or last time.

With New York being congested with so many people, it’s always known to be busy no matter what time or what day it is. Broadway, however, is currently suspending all shows and events for at least a month after the New York Governor banned all events and social gatherings of more than 500 people. Especially when it comes to being exposed and vulnerable to a virus that can affect the audience, performers, crew, and building staff, it’s important to take healthy precautions into being safe. Which is sad for the theater world. 

 BroadwayHD is a popular on demand streaming service located in New York City, that offers live and pre-recorded theatrical performances to stream throughout its platform. Due to the Broadway-fanatics being under quarantined, the streaming service is now offering a seven-day free trial that allows you to see the nonpareil shows that are to be offered at this time. And to say that with the show that you wanted to see, you could no longer see it because it was closed before the whole world was put under quarantine, well now you can! You can see shows like:

The 2013 Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet, starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, the 2018 version of the musical, The King and I, the 1999 version of the musical, Oklahoma! Starring the one and only, Hugh Jackman, and so much more!   

It’s shocking to know that for the first time in forever, that Broadway is to be shut down when it’s usually always up and running with many shows for people who love theater to see. Sure enough, once this quarantine is all over, and New York gets an all clear from the governor, things will slowly start being back to normal, and Broadway will be back and better than ever before, but for now Broadway shows are sadly on hiatus.