A Broadway Show Comes Back to Life

One theater production’s journey back to the stage after the longest and costliest shutdown in New York theater’s history.

Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Produced by Sydney Harper, Luke Vander Ploeg and Eric Krupke

With Chelsea Daniel

Edited by Larissa Anderson

Original music by Elisheba Ittoop, Dan Powell, Marion Lozano and Corey Schreppel

Engineered by Chris Wood

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This episode contains strong language.

As it prepared to open in March 2020, the show “Six” was shaping up to be a substantial hit on Broadway.

A revisionist feminist British pop musical about the wives of King Henry VIII, it was already a success in London and it was barreling toward what the producers hoped would be a long and lucrative run in New York.

On its opening night, however, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a shutdown of theater that would wind up lasting a year and a half.

We speak to the cast and crew of “Six” about the show’s path back to the stage and explore what it tells us about the trials of Broadway during the pandemic.

On today’s episode

Michael Paulson, a theater reporter for The New York Times.

Background reading

Determined to reopen, Broadway’s crews are dusting off spotlights, dancers are relearning steps, and everyone is testing for the coronavirus as theater seeks to rebound from the devastating pandemic.

“Six” is a poignant example of what is at stake as New York theater reopens. Last year, Michael Paulson wrote about the making of the musical.

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Transcripts of each episode are available by the next workday. You can find them at the top of the page.

Michael Paulson contributed reporting.

Special thanks to Julia Jacobs, Laura Zornosa and Michael Cooper.

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Soraya Shockley, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop and Chelsea Daniel.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Theo Balcomb, Cliff Levy, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan, Desiree Ibekwe, Erica Futterman, Wendy Dorr and Elizabeth Davis-Moorer.

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