Every actor dreams of performing on Broadway.
For Lancaster’s Max Bartos, 17, that dream was about to come true.
The off-Broadway show that Bartos was in late last year and early this year, “Sing Street,” was such a success that it was heading to Broadway.
On Thursday, March 12, Bartos and the rest of the cast of “Sing Street” arrived at the Lyceum Theatre ready to start rehearsals onstage.
Previews would begin March 26 and the show was scheduled to open on April 19, just in time for the Tony nominations.
Then the coronavirus changed everything.
That same day that the “Sing Street” cast was discovering their new Broadway home, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed down all Broadway shows
“We are going to get through this one breath at a time,” Bartos says. “All of us in the cast are disappointed that rehearsals had to stop, but we stand by Gov. Cuomo’s decision. The last thing we’d want to happen if we didn’t suspend performances would be for someone to get sick.”
Bartos found out about the closures on Playbill.com.
“And then our producer came up and said ‘We all love you so much, but we are going to postpone the show for a few weeks. But we’ll come back and take Broadway by storm.’ ”
The new schedule calls for “Sing Street” to begin previews April 14, unless decisions are made to continue the suspension.
Despite the disappointment, Bartos is upbeat.
“It’s comforting to know we will be back and bringing ‘Sing Street’ to the world, especially at a time when people will need this story.”
“Sing Street” is based on the 2016 film directed by John Carney, who also directed the film “Once,” which became a huge hit on Broadway.
A boy named Conor (being played by Brenock O’Connor in the Broadway show) tries to adjust to his new Catholic high school in the 1980s.
His father has lost his job, his parents are always fighting and his brother suffers from depression.
He catches the eye of a beautiful young woman and tells her he’s looking for someone to star in his music video.
The problem is, he has no band or song to play.
Bartos plays the entrepreneurial Darren, who befriends Conor and helps him form a band.
In the dead-end world of Dublin in the 1980s, the boys find hope and joy in their music.
The show at the New York Theater Workshop was hit, selling out for much of its run.
After the show closed, the cast got a two-week hiatus, then came back to start rehearsals at the New 42nd Street Studios, fine-tuning the new version of the show.
“It still has the same sense of joy. If anything, it accentuates that — the joy, rebellion and youthful energy of the show,” Bartos says. “Rebecca (Taichman, the director) wants to make it more poetic.”
His character Darren “is still the same, goofy, lovable friend,” Bartos says.
Rehearsals were going well, and Bartos loved the day at the Lyceum Theatre.
“It was absolutely insane. I’m still living off of that,” he says. “I got to see my dressing room, which I’ll share with Sam (Poon) and Anthony (Genovesi). We’re calling it the room of doom.”
The theater is so big, Bartos got lost trying to find the stage.
“It’s more than I imagined,” he says.
The cast is still staying in touch with posting and group messages.
“If any of us feel anxious, we help each other out,” Bartos says.
New York was turning into a ghost town by the time Bartos left.
“The streets were really empty. It was actually a little scary,” he says. “But New York is a tough city. They’ll get through it.”
Since he’s been home, Bartos has been keeping busy.
“I have a creative mind, at least that’s what people tell me, and it’s always active no matter what,” he says. “I’m always at my piano or my guitar, and I’m writing song lyrics. And I’ve been doing paint your own pottery and playing with my dog, who I really missed (when I was in New York).”
His parents, Becky and Todd Bartos, are his audience when he’s trying out new songs.
“It’s fun and it’s building up the anticipation for when I do begin performing on Broadway,” he says. “I look forward to when the world is ready to see our story.”
The American Music Theatre has postponed all events scheduled through May 17 due to health c…