Yet ANOTHER thing we need to do before Broadway comes back.
The To-Do list continues to grow.
Last Saturday night after my kid went to sleep, I scooted down to my office to wrap up a bit more work.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Times Square was shut down.
If you missed the news, it was because there was a shooting. And, while none of the three bystanders were critically wounded, one was a four-year child.
I don’t remember the last time this happened. Maybe in the 90s when I got here. When Times Square was a different place.
Anyone who has been to Times Square over the past year knows that is a different place again. I’ve seen drug deals in front of the Belasco Theater. I’ve seen a drinking-out-of-the-bottle-cocktail party in front of The Marquis. I’ve seen more homeless who need help than ever before.
In other words, I’ve seen a Times Square that is not exactly what tourists are going to want to flock to when they can.
And after all the momentum we built up last week? Well, it takes just one incident like the one over the weekend, to move back three spaces and lose a turn.
We’ve got a lot to do to come back. We’ve got Covid-19 safety policies to put into place. We’ve got equality policies to put into place. We’ve got shows to put up. And audiences to convince to come back.
And, now, we need to remember that one of the most important factors in a brick-and-mortar industry’s success?
Lo. Ca. Tion.
Our political leaders have come through for us in many ways throughout this pandemic, and I’m thankful for their support. And now we need them to focus their efforts on restoring the beacon of light and energy that is Times Square.
And we need to help too. The Broadway theaters are the big citizens on this block. We need to flex our muscles and do our part.
See, Times Square used to scare people away. I know, because I was one of them. I used to walk around it or bike through it after I escaped two muggings and defrauded out of $100 in 1991.
And for the sake of Broadway’s comeback, we can’t let that happen again.
That’s why this year’s NYC Mayoral race is more important than ever.
I’m not going political, don’t worry. And not suggesting a candidate to you at all. But if you are an NYC resident, I will suggest that you vote . . . and vote for the candidate that you believe will restore the epicenter of our city, and possibly the world, to the glory that it was. Even if that means tourist-packed sidewalks again.
Learn about the candidates running for Mayor here.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.