Broadway is (almost) back.
On May 5, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway shows will reopen at full capacity on September 14, with ticket sales beginning May 6.
“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Cuomo said. “Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume in September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”
Further details regarding the reopening remain undetermined. Cuomo stated that many of the decisions will be left to theaters and will likely depend on several factors, including demand for tickets and COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates.
“If performances need to be postponed due to the public health conditions, theaters have planned to offer customer-friendly refunds and exchange policies,” per ABC 7 News.
Just a few days prior, in a press conference on May 3, the governor cleared Broadway theaters to reopen at 100% capacity on May 19, with social distancing measures in place. However, The Broadway League maintained that they didn’t plan to reopen until the fall.
“We applaud the governor’s recent announcement easing capacity limits on performance venues in New York State,” the Broadway League wrote in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are encouraged by this good news, which is a long-awaited indication that New York is truly on the road to recovery. We look forward to reopening at full capacity and are working to safely welcome audiences and employees back to Broadway theaters this fall. As always, we continue to work closely with our elected officials and will share more information as soon as plans become finalized.”
The May 19 date wasn’t specific to theaters; Cuomo announced that many of the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses such as restaurants, bars, museums, and gyms will be lifted on that date. City Mayor Bill de Blasio has slated July 1 as the "full reopening" of New York City.
Broadway performances have been closed since March 12, 2020. In pre-pandemic times, Broadway provided almost 97,000 jobs and almost $15 billion to the city’s economy on a yearly basis, according to ABC 7 News.
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