If you’re looking to get your Broadway fix, Airbnb is offering up the chance to treat yourself to a night in with some of musical theater’s biggest players. Starting today, the home-sharing site is launching a special collection of online experiences that give fans the chance to connect with stars and crew from their favorite Broadway and West End productions, including Aisha Jackson, Tituss Burgess, dancers from "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago," and three original Broadway princesses.
Earlier this year, New York City’s iconic Broadway theater district said that it does not expect a return to the stage until at least 2021. Ticket refunds and exchanges are being accepted for all shows through January 3. Across the country, theater and venue closures have had devastating effects, leaving nearly the entire industry without jobs for the foreseeable future.
Across the pond, even though London’s West End has recently been cleared to resume indoor stage shows, as long as proper social distancing is in place, most shows have elected to stay dark until social distancing is no longer needed. At the end of July, musical theater legend Andrew Lloyd Weber held the city’s first indoor performance—to a significantly reduced crowd—and noted to the New York Times that it was a sad sight to behold, adding that it would be “impossible” for theaters to reopen to less-than-full houses.
As fans and industry fret over what to do during the extended intermission, Airbnb took their cue and created this new collection of online experiences. Partnering with The Actors Fund, a national nonprofit that supports workers in the performing arts, the goal was twofold: to help bring Broadway into homes around the world while also creating a new stream of revenue for the out-of-work performing arts stars and crew.
“In this time of social distancing, it is imperative for artists to find an outlet to create and collaborate in order to continue to tell our stories," said Tituss Burgess. "With Broadway dark, we must re-evaluate and re-establish what the community means—what we want it to mean— in order to move forward. Join me in going back to the basics as we explore storytelling together.”
Ranging from $15 to $100, these virtual experiences are a bargain compared to a night out at the theater. Experience highlights such as joining a Broadway Princess Party hosted by Tony- and Grammy-nominated Laura Osnes, Susan Egan, and Courtney Reed; seizing the opportunity to be part of an official Disney DCappella music video with DCAppella; or gathering the little ones around "Mrs. Doubtfire" cast members Charity Dawson, Brad Oscar, and Jenn Gambatese for storytime. You can browse Airbnb’s entire online Broadway experiences collection here.