MAYOR DE BLASIO DELIVERS REMARKS AT THE EXHIBITION OPENING OF BLINDNESS AT THE DARYL ROTH THEATRE

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Mayor Bill de Blasio: So, everyone, this is really a powerful moment. Today, theater returns to New York City. The curtain goes back up and something amazing happens, and here we have a work of art for our times. This is a story of a city dealing with a contagion and trying to find its way through. Blindness starts with an overwhelming sense of the challenge, but then I won’t give away what happens next, people work to find a way through, and that’s what New Yorkers have been doing in an extraordinary way. New Yorkers have been heroic finding our way through the challenges of COVID to something better, but this is one of those moments. When the theater opens up, this is one of the moments that really signals to people our comeback. The theater community means so much to the city. The theater community means so much to our identity as New Yorkers, who we are, the way we experience life, so much of it is through our cultural community, and our cultural community gives us hope, and it also happens to be a part of our economy, that accounts for more than a $100 billion a year in economic activity, so it has to come back for so many reasons. And I want to thank Daryl Roth for, once again, showing so much leadership, so much heart, so much spirit. Daryl and I have gotten to know each other over the years. I know you love this city deeply, and I know you love the theater, and I know you knew by creating this show, here at your namesake theater, that you would send a message about all of us coming back together. And I want to thank you on behalf of the people in New York City. And Daryl, I’d love it if you say a few words.

  Daryl Roth: Well, I want to thank you. I want to thank the City of New York, the State of New York for finding the balance between caution and optimism, because without that, we wouldn’t have been able to open safely, and we can offer people an opportunity to gather together and to feel a sense of a unique theater experience. I want to thank the Donmar Warehouse, which is in London and who started this beautiful piece of work and we have taken it so we can present it here in New York. And the beauty of this piece, as the Mayor referenced, is that it’s about a group of people going through something very challenging, that is dark and unsettling and upsetting, and coming through it together with resilience and hope and seeing the light and by our being able to open our doors and letting the light in, it’s the first step. I know that we are going to be followed by many, many other wonderful theater, art, music, cultural opportunities, and we’re just so grateful to have this opportunity because we were lucky enough to have this flexible space. And so, we welcome everyone. I know you’ll feel comfortable. I promise you’ll be safe, and you’ll have an experience to remember. So, I just say, thank you, we’re grateful, and to the City and the State, you’ve been doing a wonderful job under the most extraordinary circumstances. So, here’s to the return of culture and theater is back.

   Mayor: Amen, amen. And listen, to everybody, there is a beautiful, powerful phrase for generations in the theater community, it could not be more pertinent than it is today, the show must go on. And now, it will. Blindness opens up today and I think it’s going to inspire the people of this city. Thank you, Daryl, and thank you to everyone who made this possible

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