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But don't expect all productions to resume at the same time
After weeks of rumors, it's official: Broadway will begin reopening this September. At a press conference on Thursday morning, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Broadway would reopen on Tuesday, September 14 at 100% capacity. However, minutes later The Broadway League shared a press release that was not as specific, stating that "Broadway shows in New York City will resume ticket sales this month for fall 2021 performances." Negotiations with theatrical unions are still ongoing about a variety of issues related to reopening. Performers need time to rehearse and marketing campaigns have to ramp up. As tickets for various productions go on sale, we'll get a sense of when Broadway will truly be back.
Of course, all Broadway productions won't resume performances simultaneously—it's going to be a rolling reopening. According to The New York Times, blockbusters Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked will restart first as other productions strategize about when best to bow. But the big takeaway is that there will be a 2021-2022 season... even though we're still waiting on a date for the 2020 Tony Awards.
Broadway shut down on March 12, 2020 with an original reopening date of April 13, 2020. But as the COVID-19 crisis intensified, it became clear that was out of the question, thus the suspension date was extended multiple times. Thirty-one productions were running when Broadway went dark, including eight new shows in previews and an additional eight productions in rehearsals. We keep a constantly updated list of which shows are coming back when.
Happily, individual theatre artists and smaller companies have been finding innovative ways of presenting live in-person theatre in New York for months. And this summer you can see outdoor performances all over town, and even Shakespeare in the Park.
Top image: André De Shields at Broadway's We Will Be Back celebration on March 12, 2021 in Times Square. Photo by Joe Orecchio.