Experts agree New York City won’t begin to bounce back until Broadway opens. Following reduced restrictions for venues citywide, performances remain suspended until Broadway theaters deem it safe to reopen at full capacity. Wondering what Broadway in 2021 will look like? Here’s the latest information on what the live performance landscape looks like.
When will Broadway open?
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the country, we’re hopeful rates will lower significantly so that live theater can return. Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, predicts Broadway shows will be back late summer or early fall. In the meantime, all NYC Broadway shows remain officially cancelled through May 30, 2021. Read the latest information here.
What changes will happen to Broadway?
When it comes to spectator size, St. Martin says not much will change. Seats need to be full in order for Broadway theaters to open, as venues wouldn’t be able to financially make it given the current mandates. Once theaters are given the go-ahead to operate at full capacity, expect shows to return in six weeks to four months (cast and crew need to return, make sure their costumes fit, hold rehearsals, and the like). Anticipate new safety and sanitary measures like providing proof of vaccination, practicing social distancing, and mandatory mask-wearing. St. Martin has also said they’re working on safely receiving audiences by updating the checkpoints inside the theaters to make them more touch-free.
What Broadway shows were cancelled?
“Beetlejuice” has announced it will not resume performances at the Winter Garden Theatre, although the show is considering reopening at another venue. We’re sad to see the stage adaptation of Disney’s “Frozen” end, as well as “Hangmen,” “Mean Girls”, and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, which have also announced their demise.
What Broadway shows are returning in 2021?
Expect the return of adored favorites like “Hamilton,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Hadestown,” and “Moulin Rouge!,” as well as classics “West Side Story,” “Wicked,” “Chicago,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Children will be delighted that “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” are slated to return, while pop music aficionados will still get a chance to see “Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” and “Jagged Little Pill”. Obviously, performance schedules may change, but we're remaining optimistic that Broadway in 2021 can get as close to normal as possible. Check out a list of Broadway’s featured shows for more information.
What Broadway shows are premiering in NYC?
NYC audiences will be treated to world premieres once Broadway is up and running. New shows include “Birthday Candles” starring Debra Messing and the anticipated “American Buffalo,” a revival of David Mamet’s classic, starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, and Darren Criss. Audiences can also catch a musical retelling of the American Revolution’s political struggle in a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical “1776.”
Can I watch Broadway theatre online in the meantime?
Yes! Although Broadway theatres remain closed to the public, there are a variety of ways to watch the stage from home. You’ll find “Hamilton” on Disney+ and favorites like “Cats,” “Rent,” “Billy Elliot the Musical,” and “Into the Woods” on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play. Check out more offerings you can watch in your living room here.
One thing everyone can agree on - after a long slumber, Broadway will adapt, persevere, and be back better than ever!
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