NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The lights of Broadway have been dim for a year because of the pandemic, but CBS2’s Dave Carlin caught up with one Broadway legend who is full of hope.

Ben Vereen is a Tony award winning star of Broadway, TV and movies. You know from the musicals “Pippin,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Fosse,” the TV mini series “Roots” and much more. Carlin brought him to Shubert Alley to talk about Broadway and the pandemic.

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“Look at this street. All our actors and musicians, crew, stage managers are out of work. We need you right now to help us out,” Vereen says looking around. “There’s something wrong with this. Something is terribly wrong with this. Somethings terribly wrong with the city. Driving down 5th Avenue, 8th Avenue, it’s vacant. But that’s today, it’s just today, it’s just today, remember that. This disease is just today. We’ll be back.”

(CBSN New York)

Vereen has been vaccinated and encouraged everyone else to do the same.

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“Let’s get our country back to work. Let’s think about your neighbor, think about your workers who are not worker right now. We need to get America back to work, and so that’s why I did it,” he said. “I prayed over it, I meditated on it, and I said wait a minute, ‘it’s not just me.’ So I went for it.”

“Right now, we cannot exist with 100 people in the seats. We’ve got to get people vaccinated, so they can come back and feel comfortable being next to each other,” he added. “We’re trying to keep an industry together here. And we all truly are in this together. So it’s about us working towards a better Broadway season next year.

“I want to thank the Actors Fund for being there for us, and we’re there for you, whatever we can do, we’re going to be there for you, because you’ve been there for us and you’re standing. Thank you, thank you.”

Vereen said his goal is to be back on Broadway next year, in a big production for a packed house. He says have faith it will happen.

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Click here for more on how to contribute to the Actor’s Fund.

Dave Carlin