New musical will open virtually, celebrate women in theater

The new musical "Electric Island" will have a virtual opening night.  The show will be streamed live on on March 25 and is completely free.

Any donations made will benefit the Phyllis Newman women’s health initiative, a program of the Actor's Fund.

Created and written by Rachelle Rak, she says the musical "Is about the women of Broadway. It takes us not just about their journey on Broadway but into the lives and the sacrifices and the work ethic and everything that goes into being a woman of Broadway."

Rak said she realized when Broadway went dark due to the coronavirus pandemic, the theater community would have to adapt. They learned to rehearse together while apart at home.

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"Working on a musical via zoom is very different you have to kind of figure it out," Rak said. 

Electric Island's director Cady Huffman says telling actors what to do in a virtual scene had its challenges.

"I had to direct six actresses who were never in the room together to do scenes with six actresses in it," Huffman said.

Entertainment journalist Rob Schuter, who hosts the podcast "Naughty but Nice," believes that virtual performances are here to stay.

"Broadway has been very slow to adapt to any change for thousands of years it’s been theater done pretty much the same way this could change all the rules," Schuter said.