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When will Broadway reopen?

As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine continues, theaters and concert halls nationwide are beginning to reopen. What does this mean for Broadway?

Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom, Jr., is Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” “Hamilton” is one of several productions making a return to Broadway in the fall.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom, Jr., is Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” After being shut down for a year, Broadway could see a return in the fall.
Disney Plus Media Relations

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.

Background

  • 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.