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Review: CATS at Ronacher Theater


During these unpredicted and dark times, nobody knows what we are going to expect next. Broadway will not be back until 2021. Theatres all over the world released cancellation statements for the rest of the year. Austria sent into the shutdown earlier in March is working out possibilities to welcome back audiences in theatres again later in September. Christian Struppeck and his team from the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien reopened the Ronacher Theatre with a suitable COVID 19 measure friendly CATS version for a two day " test-run" with only 250 guests for each performance. The VBW developed a security and hygiene COVID prevent concept for audience members as well as artists and everyone involved in the show to assure a safe and magical theatre experience.
The two run-through trials of CATS took place last weekend as a basis for a potential reopening in September. The Vereinigte Bühnen Wien, together with health experts and other Viennese theatres, developed a concept to assure the audience a secure and relaxed night out at the theatre. It has been an emotional evening after all these living room concerts and the long break one source said after the show. Talking about the safety measures, audience members reported that they felt safe and well guided by the colored guidance system in the theatre. Wearing a mask when entering the theatre is required, but after arriving at your seat, you are allowed to put your mask off. The Vereinigte Bühnen Wien installed a powerful air conditioning system and appropriate filters which, to quote them, "are going beyond legal standards." You also find numerous hygiene dispensers in the house. A new seating arrangement assures the required minimum distance between spectators.

After all the sad news, this one is like the light at the end of the tunnel! Austria has shown the world how it can be done. Cats in Vienna is like the rise of a phoenix. A promising weekend for a possible reopening in September.


Christian Struppecks statement after the run-throughs weekend:
"After the COVID 19-related mandatory break, finally being able to present at least one test run of Cats in front of an audience is very emotional for us. After such a long theater-free period, we all longed to see our musical again. For the time being, this was only possible in front of a small, invited group, but this allowed us to evaluate all processes in the theater, backstage as well as in the auditorium. We are well prepared for regular performances from autumn to offer our guests a safe and relaxed theater experience."

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