It’s been a year since Broadway went dark.
As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues, theaters and concert halls nationwide are beginning to reopen. So what does this mean for Broadway?
What’s going on?
- Broadway shows are currently closed through May 30, 2021, Broadway News reported.
- Broadway is anticipating reopening later this year, according to Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.
- “At this point we’re thinking early fall, perhaps early September,” St. Martin recently told NBC New York. “That’s the way things are pointing.”
- St. Martin said theatergoers should expect to wear masks when Broadway reopens, but that physical distancing in theaters likely won’t be an option.
- “Broadway cannot reopen at anything less than full capacity,” she told NBC New York. “If the theaters aren’t at least 75% full, the shows won’t last. They’ll have to close.”
- St. Martin added that some of the longrunning, more familiar productions — such as “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” — will likely be the first productions to return.
- When Broadway shut down in March 2020, it forced a temporary end to 31 plays and musicals — including crowd favorites like “Hamilton” and “The Lion King,” the Deseret News reported.
- The shutdown also affected the debut of new musicals — 16 openings alone were scheduled between March 12 and April 23, 2020, according to The New York Times.
- In New York City, arts and entertainment employment declined by more than 60% between January and December 2020, Conde Nast Traveler reported.
Meanwhile in Utah ...
The Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City recently announced a revised 2021-22 season for its Broadway at the Eccles series, according to the Deseret News:
- Nov. 30-Dec. 5 — “Mean Girls”
- Dec. 28-Jan. 23, 2022 — “Hamilton”
- March 15-20, 2022 — “The Band’s Visit”
- May 10-15, 2022 — “Jesus Christ Superstar”
- June 14-19, 2022 — “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
- Aug. 2-7, 2022 — “Hadestown”
- Sept. 6-11, 2022 — “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Although still several months away, the fact that regional performing arts centers are starting to announce national tours represents a significant step forward for Broadway, according to The Washington Post.