Broadway in Detroit returns after 19-month pandemic hiatus

Tuesday Oct. 19 marks the start of the season with Rent 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour

After 19-month pandemic hiatus Fisher Theatre in Detroit prepares to welcome back audiences starting Tuesday

DETROIT, Mich. – Broadway shows are where the Fisher Theatre gets the majority of its income. You can imagine the excitement and anticipation people who work there have about opening the doors again and welcoming guests back Tuesday.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s going to feel incredibly emotional probably tomorrow, when that curtain goes up,” said Jamie Budgett, general manager for the Fisher Theatre.

The last 19-months without Broadway in Detroit have been filled with disappointment.

Read more: Broadway shows returning to Detroit’s Fisher Theatre in October

Budgett is with the new owners of the theatre, The Ambassador Theatre Group. He said they worked very closely with touring shows.

“Moving dates, and then moving dates again, and probably moving dates again,” Budgett said.

“We had tickets to come down here two days after the theater shut down,” said Chris Berkheiser. “A lot of disappointment, tickets that we never got to use, money that we lost.”

With the sound of keys turning and chatter at the box office, it’s clear change is on the way.

“Now I’m excited, excited to see things coming back, excited to be back down in the city,” said Berkheiser.

There’s also change in the air. The Fisher Theatre upgraded their air filtration system, are requiring staff and guest to wear masks and you have to show proof you are fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID test from the last 72 hours.

Today we are announcing our Health & Safety Protocols for our reopening in October. All patrons will be required to...

Posted by Broadway In Detroit - The Fisher Theatre and more! on Thursday, September 2, 2021

“The last thing any of us want is to have to shut our doors again,” said Budgett. “It feels like a small price to pay to be able to finally be able to watch live theater again.”

The long wait wasn’t ideal, but there was value. The 19 months without the shows developed a renewed love for theatre.

“In the world of digital, and everything else, everything we’ve been through, there’s always a place for live entertainment. And certainly I think that’s what we’ve all missed massively over the last 19-months,” Budgett said.

Broadway in Detroit isn’t restricted to the Fisher Theatre. Shows will be at a list of locations including the Detroit Opera House. For a look at upcoming shows, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.