NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Shut down for nearly 18 months because of COVID, Broadway‘s getting back in business, and Thursday night was a big night.

As CBS2’s Dana Tyler reports, it was curtain up on two fan favorites — Tony-winning Best Musical “Hadestown” and “Waitress,” starring Grammy winner Sara Bareilles.

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There was a standing ovation and rousing applause for Bareilles and the cast of “Waitress,” the first musical to open on Broadway since the pandemic.

In addition to starring in “Waitress,” Bareilles also wrote the music and lyrics.

During the curtain call at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, there was a poignant moment on stage. Bareilles introduced Amanda Kloots, the wife of Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who died from COVID-19 complications in July 2020.

“You have walked through this terrible time with so much grace and so much wisdom,” Bareilles said to Kloots.

Cordero was a member of the original “Waitress” cast, and this production is dedicated to him.

“To be here tonight is such a blessing. To witness what happened on this stage, you guys, incredible,” Kloots said.

Kloots then joined the entire cast to sing “Live Your Life,” a song written by Cordero.

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Just a block away at the Walter Kerr Theatre, another openin’ at another show. Fans cheered the cast of “Hadestown.”

The musical won eight Tony Awards in 2019.

Jewelle Blackman plays one of the Fates in “Hadestown.” She spoke to CBS2 about coming back to Broadway.

“It’s a lot of emotions. Anxious, excitement, joy … Hopeful that, you know, it, this helps to rejuvenate New York City and Broadway,” she said.

That joy spilled onto 48th Street on Thursday night.

After the show ended, the cast and band gathered on the balcony of the Walter Kerr Theatre to sing “Lean On Me.”

The next shows to open on Broadway are “Chicago,” “Hamilton,” “Lackawanna Blues,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked,” which all open on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

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For a list of all Broadway opening dates, click here.