New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that Broadway could reopen in May. Above the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater near Times Square on January 15, 2021. Cindy Ord / Getty Images hide the caption
Cindy Ord / Getty Images
Cindy Ord / Getty Images
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo staged the Broadway League on Monday. Industry connoisseur expected The trade organization that represents theater owners and producers said some Broadway shows would reopen in September and more would return in the fall. However, at a press conference, Cuomo hit them and lifted most of the capacity restrictions on restaurants, bars, museums, gyms, salons and retail stores by May 19. That list also included Broadway.
However, the reality is that Broadway shows take time to rehearse, reformulate, and develop security protocols on stage, behind the scenes, and for the audience. It’s a process that will take more than a couple of weeks. And Cuomo’s announcement said the six-foot-tall social distancing rules weren’t going to change. Broadway producers have long said they do I can’t afford to reopen shows with less than full capacity.
The Broadway League responded in a statement: “We applaud the governor’s recent announcement to ease capacity restrictions on New York state venues. We are encouraged by this good news, which is a long-awaited indication that New York is really on the move We look forward to reopening at full capacity and are working to ensure that audiences and staff are safely back to Broadway theaters this fall. As always, we will continue to work closely with our elected officials and will share more information as soon as the Plans are complete. “” Actor’s Equity, the union that represents Broadway artists, also welcomed the news, adding that it looks forward to a reopening that “makes workers’ safety a priority”.
One possible workaround is to require viewers to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result – a standard that applies to attending sporting events that have had limited capacity in New York state since April. The Broadway League has not said whether this will be necessary, although some nontraditional theater venues in New York City have urged audiences to provide such evidence and Lincoln Center, which will begin outdoor performances next week, is demanding this too.
The return of Broadway is central to New York’s economic recovery. It’s an industry that, in pre-pandemic times, grossed nearly $ 2 billion in ticket sales, employed an audience of nearly 15 million people a year, and employed 97,000 people.
Other theater centers around the world are starting to reopen – productions of Hamilton, Harry Potter and Frozen have recently started appearances in Australia, and in London some West End shows are preparing to begin performances on May 17th. More will open this summer.