After 600 days, Broadway shows return to Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Tuesday

Posted at 3:25 PM, Oct 19, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is preparing to welcome back audiences for the first time since the pandemic began.

Back in March of 2020, "Jesus Christ Superstar" was in the middle of its run when TPAC had to shut down because of COVID-19. It was the last Broadway show to perform at TPAC for the past 600 days.

Other than a few virtual events, the space has remained mostly empty.

Jennifer Turner, president and CEO of TPAC, has been counting down the days since the stages went dark.

"It has been a long intermission, 19 months, 600 days without a Broadway show so we have been working and preparing for this day for so long. So we are thrilled to be able to welcome audiences back," Turner said.

Well, finally, on Tuesday night, the band is getting back together. No really — that’s the title of the show at TPAC: "The Band’s Visit."

The premise of the show is two groups coming together and bonding over music, which seems appropriate for TPAC’s long-awaited return for in-person performances.

"It's a wonderful story of two groups coming together through music, through art, through just exactly what we're doing tonight — live performance and the experience of making art together," said Turner.

Also appearing on the marquee this season — "The Prom" and Disney's showstopper "The Lion King."

While the theaters have been dark, crews here have been working hard to transform TPAC for the COVID-19 era. They’ve installed new airflow, filtration and sanitation systems to help keep everyone healthier.

The audience also will have to wear their mask throughout performances this season and will also have to show either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test in order to come inside. So if you're going on Tuesday night or later in the season, either a copy of your vaccination card or a picture on your phone is enough to get you inside.