On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 23, a welcome scene unfolded for the first time since March 2020.
On the stage at the Tarrytown Music Hall, actors in costumes performed with lights, microphones, and an orchestra before an audience of hundreds who sat before them.
The occasion was the musical “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” presented by the Clocktower Players, a nonprofit theater company that usually performs at the Irvington Theater.
Nineteen months earlier, the Clocktower Players were preparing to open a production of the musical “Matilda” in Irvington. The Covid-19 pandemic then unfolded, and the theater closed before the first performance.
That closing also displaced the Broadway Training Center, the River’s Edge Theatre Company, and Common Ground Community Concerts. Schools shuttered as well, ceasing student productions.
In the months that followed, theater shifted online. Performances were held on Zoom. Podcasts were recorded. Then, as the weather warmed up, events were held outside, in venues ranging from playgrounds to parking lots, with minimal equipment. The results were inventive and inspiring.
Outdoor performances continued this week with “Riverside Haunts,” an original production based on local lore and presented by River’s Edge at The Good Witch Coffee Bar in Hastings.
Next month, indoor performances will continue with “A Scandal in Bohemia,” a theatrical adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes short story presented by the Red Monkey Theater Group and the M&M Performing Arts Company at the Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown, starting Nov. 12.
For “A Scandal in Bohemia,” audience members will be required to provide proof of Covid vaccination and to wear masks. Those requirements were also in place for “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
Despite the masks, the “Priscilla” audience members were on their feet at the end of the show, cheering for the cast who reciprocated that appreciation from the stage.