Broadway shows will reopen Sept. 14, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
In a press conference, Cuomo said Broadway tickets would be put on sale starting Thursday for theaters running at 100% capacity. In response to the announcement, the Broadway League said ticket sales will resume this month for fall performances and will be announced “in the coming weeks on a show-by-show basis.”
“Nothing beats Broadway,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement. “The theatre owners, producers and other League members will continue to work with the NY State Department of Health and the Governor to coordinate the industry’s return and the related health and safety protocols required to do so. We remain cautiously optimistic about Broadway’s ability to resume performances this fall and are happy that fans can start buying tickets again.”
In preparation for the fall, Broadway plans to launch an industrywide campaign, using the phrase “Nothing beats Broadway,” to encourage ticket sales, according to an email sent to League members this week.
Immediately following the announcement, “Six” said it would begin presale for its Broadway tickets Thursday. Producer Kevin McCollum, who is also the lead on “Mrs. Doubtfire,” said the show had many on-sale announcements ready to go, depending on when and where the Broadway reopening statement was made.
“We’re ready and also we’re ready with ‘Doubtfire,’ so all that will be rolling out in the next few days,” McCollum said.
Three major shows — “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” — plan to announce an on-sale date May 11, according to reports and sources familiar with the matter.
The requirements for patrons within the theater remain to be seen. Robert Mujica, New York State’s budget director, said Wednesday that the state protocols are not yet finalized, but that it will continue conducting pilot programs for indoor programming. Still, Cuomo called a 100% vaccinated audience the “smartest and safest” strategy, while Mujica also hinted at the possibility in order to accommodate a full-capacity theater.
“You can envision that there will be vaccinations and/or testing to allow for that capacity,” Mujica said.
The decision will ultimately be up to the industry, Cuomo said, noting that public health requirements and the landscape may change before September.
The state will support Broadway productions that have their first performance scheduled through December 2022 with a 25% tax credit on qualified expenses.
Before Broadway can reopen, producers and union leaders must also reach an agreement on protocols and working conditions for cast and crew members. Those negotiations are ongoing and thus far have included a proposal for a shortened and pro-rated performance week, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Actors’ Equity said Wednesday that it was encouraged by Wednesday’s announcement and looked forward to resuming conversations.
“The first thing that we had to do is we had to be able to go on sale,” McCollum said. “Now that we are on sale, collectively over the next few months, we’re going to get an idea of what and how to finish all the other details,” McCollum said.
Cuomo’s announcement comes days after he announced the lifting of capacity restrictions on businesses and theaters starting May 19, while continuing to require vaccination, testing or social distancing for patrons. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a similar announcement last week, calling for a September reopening on Broadway. However, Cuomo holds the ultimate authority to ease capacity restrictions and reopen businesses.