Will Broadway shows reopen in 2021?

Photo credit: New York (Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash)

Broadway theatres were closed from March 2020 - August 2021, with all Broadway performances suspended. Although many productions are due to open in the fall, nobody can confidently predict what Broadway will look like next year. We’re here to help as much as possible, and assess what Broadway theatre in 2021 will look like.

Here is all the latest information on what Broadway and off-Broadway landscapes look like for 2021 and beyond. This feature will be updated as soon as new information is made available, regarding the future of Broadway shows and Broadway theatres.

When did Broadway theatres close?

Broadway theatres first closed on Mar. 12, 2020, with theatres initially shut for just one month. As the spread of coronavirus grew, so did the closure of theatres. This shutdown marks the longest time that Broadway shows have been suspended or postponed, longer than union strikes in the 1970s and the closure after 9/11.

When will Broadway reopen as normal?

On May 3, Governor Cuomo stated that Broadway theatres would be allowed to open from as early as May 19. The first Broadway show reopened on June 26; Springsteen on Broadway at St. James Theatre

Aren't some New York venues already open for visitors?

Yes they are! New York City Governor Cuomo has said that New York venues that have a seating capacity of over 10,000 can reopen from February 23. There are restrictions to venues opening, including social distancing, wearing face masks, proving you are Covid negative, as well as allowing 10% seating capacity indoors. Although no Broadway venues have an auditorium with 10,000 or more seats, this could be the start of encouraging theatres to reopen once again, with places like Madison Square Garden given the green light.  

Are Broadway theatres opening as part of NY PopsUp Festival? 

Yes! On March 3, Governor Cuomo announced that select Broadway theatres will be allowed to reopen as part of a state-wide initiative to get people back watching the arts. The NY PopsUp Festival will include over 1,000 live performances through to August 8. 

The St James Theatre was the first Broadway venue to reopen, with performances from Nathan Lane and Savion Glover, followed by Amber Iman at the Broadway Theatre. The Music Box Theatre will soon reopen its doors to the public, with live performances taking place in April.

When are all Broadway shows opening in 2021? 

Discover when all Broadway shows are reopening with our New York guide. 

Are Broadway theatres closed permanently?

No. Broadway theatres are not permanently closed. Broadway theatres have suspended their performances until it is safe to reopen once again.

Which Broadway shows have closed for good because of Coronavirus?

Sadly, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that shows have had to either close early or permanently. The full list of shows that are affected include:

Beetlejuice - Winter Garden Theatre
Frozen - St. James Theatre
Hangmen - Golden Theatre
Mean Girls - August Wilson Theatre
West Side Story - Broadway Theatre
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Booth Theatre

Find out more here. 

Can I watch Broadway shows online?

Yes! Although Broadway theatres are beginning to open again, there are a variety of productions that you can watch online. On Netflix, there’s a great selection including The Prom, The Boys in the Band and Hairspray. Over on Amazon Prime, there’s musical classics including Mamma Mia!, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and West Side Story. There’s also a plethora of streaming services available including Disney+, allowing audiences to watch filmed performances of Broadway and off-Broadway productions.

Here’s a full list of New York theatre productions that are currently open.  

Photo credit: New York (Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash)