Just because the physical Broadway theaters are shutdown doesn't mean its actors aren't still performing.
In a show tune fit for the era of social distancing and self-quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of Broadway stars remind everyone to stay home.
The 5-minute number is delightful, but also a heartfelt reminder calling on New Yorkers to resist the urge to go outside, hop on a train, and socialize with others. And yes, they know, "shit is weird," but at least some bars are still delivering.
"We wanted to write something that was funny, but not something that felt like we were making fun of this particular moment in time because there really isn't anything to make fun of," performer and composer Eli Bolin, who worked on the song with Mike Pettry, told Gothamist. "We wanted to be careful that the song has a balance of both humor—dark humor—and an earnest sincerity. And hopefully it balances that line."
Pettry said he and Bolin started writing the piece around when Broadway closed down.
"This has been a very stressful and worrying time for everybody on the planet, but I'm really thankful that we have access to technology that let's us create things remotely and share them with the world," Pettry said. "It's not ideal but it's our best option at the moment! Hopefully we can share some joy and humor with people in this scary time, while still taking the crisis seriously."
The song also has a verse on proper hand-washing techniques, and another on disinfectant wipes. If you do go outside, as government officials have required, stay six feet apart from other people, the distance of "The Radius of Love"—what Bolin calls a "tongue in cheek" title that doubles as a way to show you care for others.
"It's intended to be a bit of a goofy, memorable phrase, but then it is a way of expressing love if you are doing it with intention because you care about other people, and you care about making sure that you and everyone around you is staying safe and healthy. It is connected to that idea of wanting the song to be both silly and sincere at the same time," Bolin said.
Bolin and Pettry wrote "The Radius of Love (Six Feet In Every Direction)," and Pettry produced and arranged the song. Lucas Tahiruzzaman Syed edited the montage of actors. Allison Posner, Amber Gray, Annaleigh Ashford, Bowen Yang, Chrissy & Dan Pardo, Deborah Craig, Diane Davis, Eddie Cooper, Erika Henningsen, Gideon Glick, Jed Resnick, John Mulaney, Kate Baldwin, Larry Owens, Natalie Walker, Norbert Leo Butz, Richard Kind, Steven Page and Walter & Harry Bolin are featured in the video.
Performers have made the switch across various industries to virtual showings and livestreams as venues, theaters, bars, and large gatherings have been shut down to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Drag queens are live-streaming on Instagram. Late night show hosts are filming from home. Some nightclubs have also gone digital with online DJ performances. Even the Met Opera is streaming shows for free.
Bolin said of performers going virtual, "I think there's something really lovely about it because everyone still wants to connect with each other in whatever way that means for them."
"With everyone stuck at home, I feel like people are checking in with what each other are doing a lot more," he said. "Which is kind of strange that it's happening now but because everyone is putting everything out there online, it's all very accessible right now."
Watch "The Radius of Love" below: