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Broadway Returns To Pittsburgh's Benedum Center After 19-Month Intermission

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Broadway returned to downtown Pittsburgh this week after a 19-month intermission.

"The Band's Visit" is the first musical at the Benedum Center since the coronavirus pandemic shut its doors last March.

"Welcome to opening night. Thanks for coming back to the theater," a Benedum Center worker was heard saying Thursday night.

"The Band's Visit" was on stage at the Benedum Center when everything abruptly shut down last year. Actors that are part of the show said they're happy to be back in Pittsburgh to open the Broadway series.

Benedum Center
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"For us, I think it's like completing the mission that we undertook more than a year ago," actor Sasson Gabay said.

Around 1,500 tickets were sold for Thursday night's show. KDKA talked to many excited audience members who waited in anticipation for the curtain to rise once again.

"We're just really excited to just have a piece of normal, you know? We like the arts and we really missed it and it's kind of nice to be back," Pam Dassner said.

To keep everyone safe, all actors and audiences members must be vaccinated. According to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, guests will be required to show proof of vaccination at the door and wear a mask while inside.

Actors will be PCR tested twice a week.

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"Even in rehearsals, we are wearing the mask, and also the audience is required to put masks on and we are trying not to be involved too much in crowded places," Gabay said.

Anyone under 12 years old will need to be tested two days prior to a show and be accompanied by an adult.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust said entry requirements and COVID-19 policies will be the same for all shows and events at each of its 30 venues.

"I probably wouldn't have come back if that wasn't true. I'm vaccinated and wear a mask. I'm glad they're requiring that," audience member MaryAnn Lewis said on Thursday.

It means a lot to us that they're making it safe for everybody," James Dice said, another audience member.

Other shows in the 2021-2022 season include "Hamilton, "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Oklahoma!"

The COVID-19 policy will be in place through March 31, 2022, according to the Pittsburgh Cultural District. It will then be reevaluated based on community health data and guidance.

You can see the schedule and buy tickets online.

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