Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
After hours of rumors on social media and theatre websites, The Broadway League officially announced that all Broadway shows are suspended through Sunday, May 30, 2021 due to the pandemic, so there will be no 2020-2021 season. Although not exactly a surprise, this means many delayed productions aiming to open next spring must postpone again. In fact, within minutes of The Broadway League's press release, the Michael Jackson musical MJ moved its opening to September 2021 and the buzzy revival of The Music Man starring Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman rescheduled for December 2021. Click here for a constantly updated list detailing the status of every Broadway production.
Although arts and entertainment venues had originally been scheduled to reopen in phase four of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's plan, that's been put on hold indefinitely due to safety concerns as well as restrictions on large gatherings. Many theatre producers have said they don't anticipate Broadway reopening until there's a vaccine. So, in truth, no one knows when Broadway will reopen; the May 31, 2021 date is about keeping the industry afloat in terms of finances and hope. The logistics of ensuring a thousand-plus people are safe in enclosed spaces are complicated, and artists, administrators and audiences alike have many concerns.
Broadway shut down on March 12 with an original reopening date of April 13. But as the COVID-19 crisis intensified, it became clear that was out of the question, thus the suspension date has been extended multiple times, and likely will be again.
Happily, individual theatre artists and smaller companies have been finding innovative ways of presenting live in-person theatre in New York during this challenging time. There have been many outdoor shows, especially in Brooklyn, presented by stalwart companies such as HERE Arts Center, The Team and En Garde Arts. The theatres beyond Broadway will certainly be back before the big ones.
Top image: Laura Benanti at a Broadway League's #SaveOurStages event. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.