Keep calm and Bob Dylan on.
Coronavirus fears may be on everybody’s minds right now, but the show went on Thursday night for “Girl From the North Country.”
Hugs, handshakes and some elbow bumps were shared at the star-studded opening of the show, a jukebox musical inspired by Dylan’s song catalog, at the Belasco Theatre.
“I’m literally in rehearsal for play. We’ve been in rehearsal for three days. The thought of rehearsing for something that no one would even get to see [because of coronavirus] is heartbreaking,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson told Variety about his upcoming ‘Take Me Out,” which begins previews on March 31. “I really hope that doesn’t happen. It is scary time and I hope that we’re all taking precautions to keep us healthy. It’s a good time to come together and take care of one another.”
Jesse Eisenberg said, “I’m a hypochondriac. If I made decisions, nothing would happen anywhere. I am going to Colorado tomorrow and California and then Bosnia. I don’t know if they are going to cancel anything.”
Currently eleven new cases have been confirmed for COVID-19 in New York state, bringing the total number of individuals infected to 22 and the total in New York City to four.
The Broadway League issued a statement on their website to their 700-plus members of theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in North American cities that they are, “closely monitoring this evolving situation on behalf of the Broadway community.”
The “North Country” cast and crew, including Mare Winningham, Luba Mason, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Marc Kudisch, and Austin Scott, celebrated the opening at an after-party at Bryant Park Grill.
Overlooking the grand setting, Sprawl told Variety about the standing ovation the show received at the curtain call, “It felt amazing. It has been a long time coming. My biggest thing was just to be present and in the moment and to soak it all in.”
She also said producers have implemented precautions at the theater to help the company stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak. “We have hand sanitizer everywhere [backstage],” she said. “We’re telling everybody to wash your hands. We are playing it safe, but you know you got to live for now.”