Broadway Theater: Will Reopen September 19, 2021

Jagged Little Pill review
Matthew Murphy

Broadway theaters will reopen at full capacity on September 14, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced via Twitter on Wednesday.

Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, though a few shows have already quietly started selling tickets.

“Broadway is major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again,” Cuomo tweeted.

The move is good news for a sector of the economy that has been devastated by the pandemic. Theaters have been closed in New York since March 12, 2020, leaving tens of thousands of people without work. Cinemas have been open for months at limited capacity, but Broadway theater owners and producers maintain that they cannot operate with those kind of restrictions and still make a profit. When Broadway shut down, 31 productions were running, including eight new shows in previews. Some of those productions, such as a revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen” said they would not resume, while others, including a revival of “Company” with Patti Lupone, are expected to return.

On Monday, Gov. Cuomo said most state-ordered capacity restrictions in New York City will be lifted on May 19, with the exception of outdoor arenas. That set the stage for Broadway’s return.

“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,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “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.”