Broadway Stays Dark Until May 2021

On March 12, all Broadway theaters went dark due to the coronavirus pandemic. Theaters hoped on opening this January, but the shutdown has been extended through at least May 30, 2021.

A poster on Times Square advertises West Side Story at the Broadway Theater on February 7, 2020 in New York City. – Westside Story is returning to Broadway for the first time in more than a decade, directed by Belgian Ivo Van Hove. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

On October 9, The Broadway League announced that Broadway will remain dark until next Summer. This shutdown is the longest ever in Broadway’s history. If theaters open as planned next May, shows will have been closed for 444 days, keeping thousands out of work for more than a year.

“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. We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.”

Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League

Before the shutdown, 31 productions were running on Broadway, including 8 new shows in previews. 8 additional shows were in rehearsals with plans to open last spring. Hangmen, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Disney’s Frozen struggled greatly and closed permanently. Shows like Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster’s revival of The Music Man, American Buffalo, and The Minutes postponed their opening dates. The Music Man announced plans to open on February 10, 2022.

Photo by Kate Glicksberg

Needless to say, the Broadway community’s fans and workers are heartbroken. The Broadway League announced that although the current opening date is May 30, individual production’s reopening dates may differ. The League suggests that “theatregoers holding tickets for dates through May 30, 2021 should contact their point of purchase for details about exchanges and refunds.”

Amid this crisis, fans can still look forward to the 2020 Tony Awards. The show will be presented virtually, and the nominees for each category will be announced October 15.

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