Which New York shows closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Find out which shows will not return to New York once Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
It costs millions of dollars to put on a Broadway show. Although exact numbers aren’t known, it’s speculated that one in five Broadway shows are able to recoup enough money back to result in a profitable musical. With the coronavirus pandemic closing theatres until at least May 30, 2021, the face of Broadway theatres is changing due to shows closing across the city.
Sadly, the pandemic has ushered in early closures of Broadway plays and musicals. Here is a list on all productions that have either closed, or been postponed indefinitely. This feature will be updated as soon as new information is made available, regarding the future of shows in New York City.
Which Broadway shows have closed due to coronavirus?
Beetlejuice had posted its closing date, with a final performance at the Winter Garden Theatre on Jun. 6, 2020. But, as a result of coronavirus, Beetlejuice actually played its final performance on Mar. 10, 2020, racking up 27 previews and 366 regular performances during its run. The production starred Alex Brightman as Beetlejuice and Presley Ryan as Lydia, alongside Kerry Butler, David Josefsberg, Adam Dannheisser, Leslie Kritzer, Jill Abramovitz, Kelvin Moon Loh, Danny Rutigliano, and Dana Steingold.
Although Beetlejuice’s future is currently unknown, conversations are taking place regarding the musical’s future on tour, as well as a West End transfer.
The cold definitely bothered this musical. After 26 previews and 825 regular Broadway performances, Disney Theatricals announced that Frozen would not return to St. James Theatre after the pandemic was over. As a result, Frozen closed on Broadway on Mar. 11. 2020. Nominated for three Tony Awards, the musical’s final cast included Ciara Renée as Elsa, McKenzie Kurtz as Anna, Noah J. Ricketts as Kristoff, Ryann Redmond as Olaf and Ryan McCartan as Hans.
Although Frozen isn’t returning to Broadway, a West End transfer has been confirmed, as well as international productions in Germany and Japan.
After just 13 performances at the Golden Theatre, the Broadway premiere of Hangmen was cancelled. Previews of Martin McDonagh’s award-winning play began on Feb. 28, 2020, but due to Coronavirus was forced to shut. Performances were originally scheduled through to Jul. 18, 2020. Hangmen has been staged off-Broadway, with a review from Tulis McCall saying: “This is a soggy, bleak part of the world, and it doesn't take much to tip it off its axis. There is cryptic humor, braggadocio, and the kind of bi-polar mood explosions that leave your stomach churning.”
The cast starred Mark Addy, Tracie Bennett, Ewen Bremner, Owen Campbell, Jeremy Crutchley, Gaby French, Josh Goulding, John Hodgkinson, Richard Hollis, John Horton, Ryan Pope, and Dan Stevens.
Future plans for Hangmen on Broadway are to be confirmed.
This is definitely not fetch. Mean Girls is a theatre fatality of the coronavirus pandemic, not returning to the August Wilson Theatre. The production played its final performance on Mar. 11, 2020, after 29 previews and 805 performances. The musical’s final cast included Reneé Rapp, Krystina Alabado, Laura Leigh Turner, Olivia Kaufmann, Chad Burris, Catherine Brunell, Kyle Selig, Cheech Manohar, and Rick Younger.
Nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 2018, Mean Girls didn’t win any of its categories. But plans for a West End transfer are in full swing, so the Plastics can still go on tour!
There's a place for West Side Story on Broadway somewhere, but not after the pandemic. West Side Story, directed by Ivo van Hove, will not return to the Broadway Theatre. The production played its final performance on Mar. 11, 2020. In a statement from producer Kate Horton, she explained that: "It is with great regret that we are announcing today that the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story will not reopen. This difficult and painful decision comes after we have explored every possible path to a successful run, and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, reopening is not a practical proposition. We thank all the brilliant, creative artists who brought West Side Story to life at the Broadway Theatre, even for so brief a time, especially the extraordinary acting company, 33 of whom made their Broadway debuts in this production.”
Following nine preview performances at the Booth Theatre, the Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was cancelled. If the production had enjoyed its full run, performances would have played to Aug. 2, 2020. The cast included Laurie Metcalf as Martha, Rupert Everett as George, Russell Tovey as Nick and Patsy Ferran as Honey. We’re hoping that this production will get another chance on Broadway.
Which shows in New York have been postponed indefinitely?
With a global pandemic, the majority of Broadway and off-Broadway shows have either been postponed or suspended performances. However, there are a number of productions which have been indefinitely postponed, making way for newer productions.
In 2019 (a time before Covid-19 was even a thing), it was announced Debra Messing would star in Birthday Candles at the American Airlines Theatre. Performances were due to take place from April 2 - Jun. 21, 2020, but because of Coronavirus, the show never received its Broadway premiere. Birthday Candles will now open in spring 2022.
English was originally due to start the Roundabout Underground 2020/21 season, with this world premiere set to explore students learning English as a foreign language. As a result of the pandemic, English is now postponed indefinitely.
Ashley Park was cast to play the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie at New York City Center. The musical revival was due to conclude the Encores! 2020 season, but the final hoorah never happened, thanks to Covid. At the moment, it’s unknown if the production will actually be staged.
The premiere of The Wanderers was due to be staged as part of Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2020/21 season. However, performances of Anna Ziegler’s latest play have been postponed indefinitely.
Which Broadway shows are currently postponed?
Some Broadway shows were postponed before they really got going. Here’s a list of the Broadway shows that will be returning once theatres are able to reopen.
Sharon D. Clarke will eventually make her Broadway debut in the revival of Caroline, or Change, which was originally set to start in spring 2020. Currently, performances are scheduled to restart at Studio 54 in October. Caroline, or Change tickets are on sale now.
The Broadway premiere of How I Learned To Drive has now been postponed at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. David Morse and Mary Lou Parker are still attached to the production, which will open in March 2022.
The Tony Award-winning play Take Me Out was originally set to return to the Hayes Theater in spring 2020. However, Coronavirus stopped all performances before its first preview. Currently, new performance dates for Take Me Out will begin in spring 2022.
The Minutes did run for a short period at the Cort Theatre, before the global pandemic forced closure of all Broadway theatres. In November 2020, it was confirmed The Minutes will return to Broadway in March 2022 at a new venue. Armie Hammer, Jessie Mueller and Tracy Letts are still attached to the show.
Photo credit: Frozen at St. James Theatre (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews)