SEMINOLE, Fla. — After waiting 18 months, Broadway officially reopened in New York City in September. However, for one Seminole family, the waiting continues.
They were unable to attend their daughter’s opening night due to Hurricane Ida, but they were definitely there in spirit.
Karen and Cary Reich have always believed their daughter Yael would one day be on Broadway.
“So Yael has been performing since she was eight years old,” said Karen.
“She was not just some kid in theater, this is somebody who is going to go somewhere, she was that good,” said Cary.
Karen and Cary were right. Yael was cast in Hadestown at the beginning of 2020.
“There it was right there, in her grasp, in her hands, she was doing those rehearsals for three days, but only three days,” said Karen.
Due to the pandemic, the show’s opening was pushed back to September 2021. Yael was featured in a New York Times article about performers making their Broadway debut.
Karen and Cary were packed and ready to go, that’s when Hurricane Ida came roaring through, canceling their flight.
“It was devastating, it was absolutely devastating, we have never missed an opening in any city or any state for any of our kids, ever,” said Karen.
Yael was just as disappointed, after months of talking over Zoom, she was looking forward to spending her big night with mom and dad in person.
“It definitely was sad, I was really hoping that we would all be able to be here together and celebrate this moment together,” said Yael.
Karen and Cary said even if they can’t physically be in their seats, that didn’t mean their daughter still couldn’t see their smiling faces in support. They sent large photos of the family to friends to hold up during the show.
“Seeing their faces out there, it was just beyond touching and emotional and I wished that they were there so I could hug them,” said Yael. “They are the biggest, most committed supporters in the world.”
“She was just explaining, ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, this is so awesome,’ and it really touched her and it had the effect we wanted it to have, it meant something to her,” said Karen.