Curtain rises again on top musicals in Broadway

The curtain has risen again for major musicals on Broadway in New York, following 18 months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Live performances of "The Lion King," "Wicked," "Hamilton" and "Chicago" resumed on Tuesday, for the first time since all theaters in the entertainment district were closed in March last year.

Ticketholders made long lines in front of the theaters before the shows' openings on the day.

In the United States, people are urged to remain on guard against the highly transmissible Delta variant. But in New York City, the weekly average of new virus cases has been falling, with more than 72 percent of people aged 18 or over now being fully vaccinated.

At theaters, anti-virus measures such as requiring audiences to show vaccination proof before entering or wearing masks while indoors are in place.

Clerks at the entrance of the theater staging "The Lion King" were checking visitors' smartphones and cards issued by US health authorities confirming their inoculations.

The theaters are now allowing audiences to full capacity.
About 1,700 viewers of "The Lion King" stood and erupted in applause and cheers when the cast greeted from the stage after the show.

Most of the about 40 theaters in Broadway are reopening in September and October. Expectations are running high that the resumption of shows may help revitalize the local economy, including restaurants and bars.