As New York theatre goers exited their various shows last night, they discovered the horror of what was going on in Paris. Barbaric gunmen stormed and killed over a hundred people in a cafe, soccer stadium and a concert hall.
In the days that follow, we will see and hear about the terrifying moments during the attack. But we will also hear about the tremendous courage and bravery of the French people who saved others. We will also see the incredible outpouring of support and love for Paris from all over the world. In that spirit, I am urging theatre owners, The Broadway League and all involved to dim the lights of Broadway in memory and support for those in Paris.
The City of Light and Broadway have a special relationship. Countless Parisian artists and performers have graced the New York stage. Paris is also home to a vibrant theatre scene where many of Broadway's most iconic musicals are currently performing such as Cats. And there are three musicals on Broadway right now that take place in Paris.
We all know the rules when it comes to dimming marquee lights on Broadway. And while the victims might not have been Broadway performers or artists, many of them were audience members seeing live entertainment.
Which brings up another issue entirely. The monsters committing these acts aren't meeting our forces on battlefields. No, they're attacking mass groups of unassuming and unarmed people. It's not unrealistic to think that the concert hall in Paris could have easily been the Gershwin in New York.
Right now, there is minimal security at these venues. We written about this before, and continue to urge theatre owners and producers to install bag check stations and metal detectors outside theatre doors.
I would rather theatre owners and producers be proactive when it comes to safety for their audiences rather than let an atrocity occur for them to consider these measures.
While I am furious and horrified by what happened, I am comforted to know that those responsible will brought to justice. I pray for all those in Paris as well as their family and friends abroad.
Let's unite as a community and show the world the love that Broadway has for Paris.