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Lin-Manuel Miranda surprises the audience and welcomes them back to Broadway at the reopening of "Hamilton." Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

Some of Broadway's biggest shows returned Tuesday night, with theater icons Kristin Chenoweth, Julie Taymor and Lin-Manuel Miranda welcoming fully vaccinated and mask-wearing audiences.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic forced Broadway shows to close for 18 months — the longest shutdown in Broadway history, the New York Times reports.

State of play: Some of theater's most popular musicals, "Wicked," "Chicago," "The Lion King" and "Hamilton," opened on Tuesday — the day former Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Broadway shows could reopen at 100% capacity.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Chenoweth welcomed "Wicked's" audience, Taymor welcomed "The Lion King's" and Miranda welcomed "Hamilton's" — all to standing ovations.
  • Yes, but: The shows were not the first nor the only ones to reopen. Two other big musicals, "Hadestown" and "Waitress," reopened on Aug. 22, per AP.
The audience during curtain call of the Broadway reopening of "Wicked." Photo: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images
Michael McCormick, Ginna Claire Mason, Stephen Schwartz, Lindsay Pearce, Sam Gravitte and cast during curtain call of the Broadway reopening of "Wicked." Photo: Jenny Anderson/Getty Images
Jin Ha as Aaron Burr, Krystal Joy Brown as Eliza Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes as Alexander Hamilton and cast take the curtain call at the reopening of "Hamilton." Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

Chicago has highest COVID-19 case rates in city worker neighborhoods

Maps show COVID-19 positivity rates (left) are highest in two ZIP codes where the highest concentrations of Chicago municipal workers happen to live (right). Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

COVID hot spots have moved all over Chicago in the past 18 months, but in recent weeks, the highest rates have emerged in two ZIP codes on the far Southwest and Northwest Sides, according to city data.

  • 60655 covers parts of Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood.
  • 60656 covers parts of Jefferson Park and Norwood Park.
12 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
14 hours ago - Health

More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines

Students sit in a classroom at a high school during the first day of classes in Novi, Mich., on Sept. 7, 2021. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After tens of thousands of kids were sent home to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure in the first days of in-person schooling, more districts are starting to pivot toward a "test-to-stay" strategy, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: Many schools are largely using a contact tracing method in which close contacts of someone who tests positive for the virus must isolate at home.