Curtains Up: Broadway will Reopen this September

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced exciting news about the return of Broadway. As of now, Broadway shows can reopen at 100% capacity starting September 14, with some ticket sales starting today, May 6.

Even though Broadway theaters will open later this month, none of the regular shows can start until mid-September. Mayor de Blasio hopes for NYC to open on July 1, but Broadway curtains won’t rise again until the Fall.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 12: A view of the “Hamilton” marquee at The Richard Rogers Theater during the “We Will Be Back” Broadway Celebration in Times Square on March 12, 2021 in New York City. “We Will BeBack” was a special pop-up performance and commemoration of Broadway’s “lost year.” One year ago, on March 12, 2020, Broadway was shut down in an effort to slow thespread of the coronavirus and has not reopened. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

Unlike other industries, Broadway can’t afford to open with social distancing. With the amount of cast and crew required to work on a show plus time for rehearsals and marketing, it isn’t possible for Broadway to open this Summer. COVID-19 is already hurting Broadway financially, and opening at limited capacity would do even more damage.

Even though Gov. Cuomo said Broadway can reopen on September 14, some shows will not. Shows open on a rolling basis, and most have not released their schedules. The longest-running show in Broadway’s history, Phantom of the Opera, opens October 22nd and will start selling tickets this Friday (5/7) at 9AM ET. The three highest-grossing shows, Hamilton, Wicked, and The Lion King, will release their plans sometime next week.

Reopening will be easier for popular shows – like these and Chicago, Aladdin, and Come From Away – than newer shows like Mrs. Doubtfire and Six, which were only in previews when the pandemic began.

Cuomo also announced that ticket sales start today, but not every show has its schedule released. Still, some shows have tickets available today. Check each show for its availability, and check broadway.org for more updates.

“We are thrilled that Governor Cuomo clearly recognizes the impact of Broadway’s return on the city and state’s economy and the complexity of restarting an entire industry that has been dormant for over a year. Nothing beats Broadway. The theatre owners, producers, and other League members will continue to work with the NY State Department of Health and the Governor to coordinate the industry’s return and the related health and safety protocols required to do so. We remain cautiously optimistic about Broadway’s ability to resume performances this fall and are happy that fans can start buying tickets again.”

Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League

Everything still isn’t certain, but Broadway’s being confident enough to sell tickets is a great sign. We don’t know all the plans, but the return of theatre to NYC will likely be done in the safest way possible. Masks will probably be required at first, and although Gov. Cuomo said that he wants 100% vaccinated audiences, but that will be up to the theatre industry. Still, the return of Broadway is closer than ever!