Will Broadway shows reopen in 2021?

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

Broadway theatres are currently closed, with all Broadway performances currently suspended until at least May 30. 2021. Although many productions have projected an opening date in fall 2021, 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. Currently, Broadway theatres are shut until at least May 30, 2021. 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.

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. 

How long will Broadway theatres be closed?

At the moment, Broadway theatres are closed to May 30, 2021. Although theatres could reopen from June 2021, right now, shows have announced performances restarting from fall 2021. 

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 Music Box Theatre will be the first Broadway venue to reopen its doors to the public, with live performances taking place in April. Please note that the Music Box Theatre will not be staging Dear Evan Hansen in April. Instead, there'll be a series of live performances and concerts, with performers to be confirmed.

A further list of Broadway theatres which will be reopening again as part of NY PopsUp Festival is to be announced. 

When will Broadway reopen as normal?

Nobody knows exactly when Broadway will reopen, as it’s dependent on government officials and regulatory bodies agreeing that it’s safe for theatres to open their doors. At the moment, Broadway theatres won’t open until at least June 2021. On 25 March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that there'll be a Broadway dedicated vaccination site opening in the next few weeks, with the aim of ensuring Broadway can reopen in the fall.  

When are all Broadway shows opening in 2021? 

With vaccines now being rolled out across the United States and huge efforts in place to encourage social distancing, we’re hopeful all Broadway theatres will be able to open soon. Below is a list of all Broadway shows that have either posted a reopening date or a new performance schedule. 

Ambassador Theatre - Chicago is due to reopen for performances from August 2. 
Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - Company will reopen on Broadway, with tickets on sale soonCompany stars Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone.
Broadhurst Theatre - Jagged Little Pill is due to reopen for performances from September 7.
Imperial Theatre - Ain't Too Proud is due to reopen for performances from September 7.
Longacre Theatre - Diana: The Musical is due to reopen for performances from December 1.
Winter Garden Theatre - The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster is due to open from December 20.

All other Broadway theatres are currently closed. This includes the Al Hirschfeld Theatre,  American Airlines Theatre, August Wilson Theatre, Barrymore Theatre, Belasco Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Booth TheatreBroadway Theatre, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Circle in the Square Theatre, Cort Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Gershwin Theatre, Golden Theatre, Hayes Theater, Hudson TheatreLunt-Fontanne Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Marquis Theatre, Minskoff Theatre, Music Box Theatre, Nederlander Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre, New Amsterdam Theatre, Palace Theatre, Richard Rodgers Theatre, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Shubert Theatre, St. James Theatre, Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Studio 54, Vivian Beaumont Theater and the Walter Kerr Theatre.

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
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Booth Theatre

Can I watch Broadway shows online?

Yes! Although Broadway theatres are currently closed, 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.

Are there any shows open now in New York?

There are a couple of theatrical installations which have opened in New York in 2020. In particular, the Daryl Roth Theatre will reopen with Blindness, a sound installation that premiered at London's Donmar Warehouse in 2020. The NY PopsUp Festival will include over 1,000 live performances through to Labor Day (September 6). 

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

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