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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Off-Broadway Shows Requiring Proof of Off-Brand Vaccines

by Devin Wallace. @thedevinwallace.

NEW YORK, NY - Following the news that Broadway audiences will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Off-Broadway theaters announced their audiences will only be required to have an off-brand COVID-19 vaccine, which they assure us is basically the same thing.

“There’s really no difference between Broadway and Off-Broadway, or a vaccine that comes in a shot and a vaccine that comes in a GreatValue suppository,” said theater owner Jeffrey Burgess while setting up folding chairs in a St. Mark’s basement. “Can these shows be nominated for a Tony? No. Can these off-brand vaccines prevent COVID? No. But that’s the cost for real art,” said Burgess, producer of The Office! A Musical Parody.

Ellen Jackson, a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Health, urged audiences to receive the approved COVID-19 vaccines and to stay away from any vaccines that were devised and improvised by recent NYU graduates.

“The only way out of this pandemic is with authorized vaccines,” said Jackson while furiously scrolling through Groupon offers at The Player’s Theater. “As a citizen, you have a duty to receive the official vaccine and to pony up a few extra dollars for that Come From Away matinee you’ve been talking about.”

The vaccination requirements also extend to Off-Broadway performers. Trish Parsons, an Off-Broadway performer, appreciates the freedom that comes with a choice of vaccines provided by her doctor, hypnotist, and writing partner Marlene.

“I could have gotten the Pfizer vaccine and starred as Elphaba, but in the end I found a perfectly good Kirkland shot on sale so I could audition for Drunk Shakespeare,” said Parsons, handing out flyers for Newsies: Naked, in Times Square. “It doesn’t matter what science or our parents say, it’s basically the same thing as what regular Broadway is doing.”

Burgess said he was happy to get back to showing people what Off-Broadway theater can be.

“All we want is to ensure the safety of the audience while maintaining that Off-Broadway atmosphere. Our shows can be experimental, and we want our audience’s vaccines to be the same way.”

Our conversation was cut short as Burgess searched for his vaccine card in order to enter the restaurant he chose, which was just an Off-Broadway production of Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding.


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