Broadway is coming back on September 14

May 5, 2021

Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

In a press conference today, Governor Cuomo announced that tickets for future Broadway shows will go on sale on May 6, as performances are expected to resume at 100 percent capacity on September 14. All of New York City’s 41 Broadway theaters closed on March 12, 2020, due to the Covid pandemic. “Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” the governor said.

Earlier this week, the governor announced a near-full reopening of New York on May 19. On this date, restaurants, stores, gyms, salons, amusement parks, and offices can reopen at 100 percent capacity for the first time in 14 months. Two days prior, the subway will resume 24/7 service. As we explained, “The six-foot social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remain in effect at these places, which could still limit capacity depending on the space available.”

Theaters were included in the state’s earlier announcement, but because of several factors, it’s long been speculated that these theaters would wait until the fall to reopen. Of course, people’s comfort levels and implementing Covid protocols are a big part of the equation, but as the New York Times explains, “With as many as eight shows a week to fill, and the tourists who make up an important part of their customer base yet to return, producers need time to advertise and market. They need to reassemble and rehearse casts who have been out of work for more than a year.”

When Broadway shut down 14 months ago, 31 productions were running, including eight new shows in previews and eight in rehearsal. Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which represents theater owners and show producers, previously said: “With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so.”

In a press release, the Broadway League said that many Broadway producers will begin to announce anticipated reopening dates this week on a show-by-show basis. “Ticket sales will resume subject to [the] continuing improvement of public health and vaccination rates, as well as the state’s final approval of each theatre operator’s health and safety protocols,” they explain.

According to the Times, about 30 shows will resume productions before the end of the year. Currently, tickets are on sale for Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Ain’t Too Proud, Jagged Little Pill, and The Play That Goes Wrong.

When asked how the seating will work and if attendees will have to show proof of vaccination, Governor Cuomo said that is still being worked out. However, he also announced today that starting May 19, both New York City baseball stadiums will be able to increase capacity to 100 percent for vaccinated people and 33 percent with six-foot distancing for unvaccinated people. There will be two separate seating sections, both of which will require fans to wear masks. He did say that he thinks it would be more difficult to have separate sections in a Broadway theater.

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