NEW YORK (AP) – Many Broadway productions are rushing to resume ticket sales in the coming days to welcome theatergoers this fall after city and state leaders greened a reopening of the Great White Way at full capacity in mid-September.
“We remain cautiously optimistic about Broadway’s ability to resume performances this fall and are pleased that fans will be able to buy tickets again,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement Wednesday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Broadway theaters could reopen on Sept. 14 and determine their own admission requirements, such as whether people must prove they’ve been vaccinated to attend a show. Selling tickets allows theaters to gauge interest before the stages open, said Robert Mujica, Cuomo’s budget director.
The Broadway reopening will look different. In May, the big budget Disney musical “Frozen” decided not to reopen when Broadway theaters rebooted, marking the first time an established show had been struck down by the coronavirus pandemic. Producers of “Mean Girls” also decided not to reboot.
But there will be new shows, including Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over” which is slated to reopen the August Wilson Theater, the same venue “Mean Girls” has left. And a Shubert theater has been promised for playwright Keenan Scott II’s play “Thoughts of a Colored Man”.
The removal of all capacity constraints has long been considered by the industry to be critical to any reopening plan as Broadway’s economy requires full capacity. Some off-Broadway shows are open with limited seating.
All city theaters closed abruptly on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows, including 16 that were still scheduled to open.
Some shows planned for spring 2020 – such as a musical about Michael Jackson and a revival of Neil Simon’s ‘Plaza Suite’ starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker – pushed their productions into 2021. But others dropped their plans, including “Hangmen” and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits