Let’s Celebrate All the Frontline Workers of Musical Theater
We’re all about cheering on our amazing frontline workers — whether that’s through the 7PM clap in New York City or by contributing money to our Save a Seat Fund so these everyday heroes can have a night off at the theater when this crisis has ended.
Those on the frontlines — from grocery store employees to healthcare workers to delivery people — are providing an invaluable service to our world right now, and many of their roles are represented in the musical theater canon! So let’s take the time to honor those who are taking care of us by looking at their alter-egos onstage.
Usnavi and Sonny, “In the Heights”
The one thing everybody needs right now? Groceries. So Usnavi and Sonny would definitely be working overtime at their Washington Heights bodega. Maybe in the summertime, the Piragua Guy would even supply his much-needed cool refreshments.
Heidi Hansen, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Heidi’s life is so busy — from single parenting Evan to taking night school to going to work as a nurse. While Evan would be home from high school and she’d be taking her classes online, she’d certainly still be on the frontlines helping out as a nurse.
Kyle the UPS Guy, “Legally Blonde: The Musical”
Delivery workers are truly among the heroes during the crisis, and while Paulette’s nail salon would be closed, Phil would still be delivering all the packages. Even though the bend-and-snap might not be possible with social distancing, we can still practice our form from afar.
Mama Morton, “Chicago”
Someone has to manage the prisons, which have become a hotbed for corona, and Mama Morton would be right there keeping the ladies of Cook County Jail safe. After all, when you’re good to mama, mama’s good to you!
Nellie Forbush, “South Pacific”
Nurses are (finally) getting the credit they deserve for keeping us all safe and healthy, and nurse Nellie Forbush would certainly be on the frontlines during this pandemic. She knows what it means to work in times of crisis from her service during World War II.
Brenda Strong, “Catch Me If You Can”
Frank Abagnale, Jr. might be running a long con, but nurse Brenda Strong (and Frank’s love interest) is strong and steady in her role. We can see why Frank loves her!
Whether you’re looking at the OG or the new Broadway gender-flipped version, “Company’s” flight attendant would certainly be working hard right now. They might not be on their way to Barcelona, but they’d be up in the air traveling and getting people safely to their destinations.
Coal miners, “Billy Elliott”
These workers might be going on strike in the uplifting musical about the young ballet prodigy, but they would certainly be on the frontlines going to the mine and making sure their town was provided with all the coal they need.
Tevye and Motel, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Okay, so tailoring shops are probably closed, but we know the Tailor Motel Kamsoil would be on the frontlines sewing masks and providing bespoke personal protective equipment for the town. And while Tevye might finally get to live out his “rich man” dreams, as people will be more in need of his milk than ever.
Dr. Pomatter and Nurse Norma, “Waitress”
Babies are still being born no matter what’s happening in the world, so the gynecologist and his nurse would still be going to work every day, bringing new life into the world.
Baker and Baker’s Wife, “Into the Woods”
Everyone might be baking their own bread in quarantine, but this Sondheim couple would definitely still be on the job in a pandemic (or amid the Witch’s curse). Everybody needs something to eat, and the Baker and Baker’s Wife are there to provide it.
Lorenzo, “A Bronx Tale”
All Lorenzo wants is for his son Calogero to follow a safe, morally upstanding life, and he would certainly be modeling that by going to work every day on his Bronx bus route. Transit workers truly are the lifeblood of cities!
The Ensemble, “Come From Away“
Since so much of this beautiful musical takes place on the frontlines of a crisis, many of its characters would be deemed essential today. From pilot Beverly Bass and her flight attendants to the bus drivers and air traffic controllers to the mayor, this musical is a wonderful ode to people making things happen in times of uncertainty.
Office Krupke, “West Side Story”
The Sharks and the Jets might not be the officer’s biggest fan, but his service of keeping the streets safe is definitely essential during a pandemic. We’re so grateful for the service of our law enforcement during this time.