The show must go on: Metro Detroit prepares for the return of plays and musicals

Posted at 7:00 AM, Jun 29, 2021

(WXYZ) — Detroit's Fisher Theater announce it's coming back in October with "Rent's" 25th anniversary farewell tour, and tickets are already on sale.

It's one of a few production houses that say they're fortunate to have made it to this point in the pandemic and are looking to entertain an audience once again.

"Just thinking about that moment, thinking about when we come back together in the theater and the lights go down, I get emotional just thinking about it now," Courtney Burkett, the producing and artistic director for the Detroit Public Theatre, said.

They say the show must go on. But when COVID-19 hit Michigan, the curtains dropped indefinitely for so many production theaters across the area.

"The theater space will begin about right."

A hollowed-out, century-old car garage is soon to be converted to the future home of the Detroit Public Theatre on Third Ave. in Midtown.

Burkett said her crew is optimistic they'll be able to gather for their first in-person, post-pandemic play without too many restrictions in the fall.

"We're really looking at the national model. So we're looking at what's happening in New York and on Broadway and seeing how the rest of the theatre industry is operating," Burkett said.

The Fisher Theatre announced it's returning on Oct. 19, and viewers are excited about the return of theatrical performances to area venues.

"The outlook is still, under the lessons learned, you just never know," Leah Smith, the associate artistic director for the Detroit Repertory Theatre, said.

Generous donors and federal stimulus money have helped keep the venue in existence.

Repertory is giving itself until the end of July to announce reopening dates, allowing a good measure of time to pass on the loosened statewide restrictions.

"It just makes me happy that the thing that we've all learned is patience. There are things we cannot control," Smith said.

She said the first should could pop up at the end of the year or early next year.