You're the best!
Way down Hadestown Way down under the ground When Broadway was completely shut down, you could feel it missing.
You could feel a part of the soul of the city had just disappeared.
It's not just Broadway and the employees at Broadway that are relying upon these shows, but it's the restaurants, it's the bars, it's the stores.
Like everything that's around this area relies on these people and these tourists, the hotels, coming in and spending money.
And when you don't have this part of it, some of that can still function, but you're not getting this influx of tourists who are coming just for that.
Like it brings in people and puts them in a space that sometimes they don't normally have access to.
And to be in that space and the joy that it brings them and the delight that it brings them and the emotion that it brings them is just really unique.
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere In the middle of who knows where During the pandemic, I tried desperately not to forget the the roaring applause of the audience, that sound is like nothing you've ever experienced before and the moments where I would get sad or depressed, I would try to remember that sound because I am so grateful for that sound.
I was like, I will never, never complain about doing eight shows a week.
I promise I won't complain.
First day of rehearsal was just very emotional, very emotional, just talking about it makes me... just seeing everyone again and knowing that everyone had been through something you pretty ladies waving from the dock.
We're bringing all of our experiences and all of our sadness and all of our joy back into this show.
I feel like the show was richer because of it.
I feel like our performances are more honest, and more real because of it.
I feel more transparent as an artist because of what we went through during the pandemic, and I'm grateful for that.
Then we get the karaoke going.
Near, far, Wherever you are It's been such an interesting process in so many great ways.
Aladdin has been on Broadway for, I believe, seven years now.
Reopening the show, it's the Jasmine and the Aladdin in our company that are new and Shoba and I, who plays Jasmine Shoba and I felt so supported by this company.
Obviously, the feeling of everyone who had been in the show coming back to their jobs that they had to set aside for all this time, the energy around that was extraordinary.
And I think that fueled us all to really be grateful for what it is we do and not take it for granted.
Knowing how you know how that was, that feeling was taken away for so long.
You ain't never had a Friend like me Never had a friend like me Hi, I'll be your guide.
I'll be your g-u-i-d-e to the other side.
The show is built for this...
There's a giant cheer at the moment the downbeat happens every night, so you can feel like the wave of the audience come over you and then go on to the stage.
I miss it.
The whole "being dead" thing!
It's just this like over pouring of love all the time.
It's really special.
Close but no.
On the reopening night in the audience, you could feel the energy of everybody, you could feel how excited the entire audience was to be seeing live theater again.
And when the show started, it was that eruption of applause.
But at the same time, for me, there was a, I got very emotional.
It's good to see me, isn't it?
To be in this space with these people who didn't have access to this for so long and were so excited to be back.
Like just feeling that energy like made me start to tear up.
It was like this moment of where it's just so emotional.
And for me, you know, this is my work.
And to see that, you know, I'm part of something that is having this kind of effect on people means everything to me.
Knowing that we were about to walk onto this stage with this audience who had also been through a trying year, a trying couple of years that we were all in this one room together, grateful with open hearts, ready to share our experiences with one another through Come From Away.
I mean, my heart was palpitating.
I think I was in tears before I even stepped on stage in the dressing room.
I probably had to reapply my mascara multiple times.
But we walked out there and we couldn't even hear our cues, right?
Everyone has like a little solo at the beginning and people were screaming.
Every time someone walked out, people were screaming.
I couldn't even hear what the person was singing, and I'm like, Am I next?
Is this person?
Who is next?
I'll never forget it.
It was a night I'll never forget.
I don't want to forget.
I'll cherish it all the days of my life.
It was so memorable.
I remember standing in the wings, Genie and Aladdin have a moment across the stage, just off stage where the audience can't see where we can kind of just check in with each other.
And I looked at Michael James Scott, who is an icon.
And he just looked like he was proud.
So he walks out for his bow, I walk out for my bow and time sort of just stood still for a second, as tacky as that is to say, I just allowed myself to feel proud for having made it.
Everything about it was really deeply emotional and special, and I can't believe that I get to do this for a living.
It's... it's incredible.