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.

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, most shows have announced performances restarting from fall 2021. 

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.

There are rumors that Hamilton will be the first Broadway show to reopen, with potential performances from Jul. 4, 2021.

Speaking to Variety, Lin-Manuel Miranda said: "I think when theater comes back it’s going to be in conversation with technology in an entirely different way. I don’t think we go back to a world where a show premieres on Broadway, and then no one can see it unless they have two hundred bucks. I think producers are going to have to start thinking about how they’re going to capture [their work] because in capturing it they can actually capture a much larger audience for their live show."

In an article from The New York Times, Dr Anthony Fauci spoke at a virtual conference to say that, if vaccination programs are successful, theaters can reopen in the fall of 2021. He said: "If everything goes right, this is will occur some time in the fall of 2021... so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.” 

Will Broadway theatres be closed for all of 2021?

Again, it’s unknown whether any Broadway theatre will actually be able to open in 2021. However, 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 at some point next year.

All Broadway theatres are currently closed. This includes the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, Ambassador Theatre, American Airlines Theatre, August Wilson Theatre, Barrymore Theatre, Belasco Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Booth Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway 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 Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Longacre Theatre, Lunt-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, Walter Kerr Theatre and the Winter Garden 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.

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

What shows are coming to Broadway in 2021?

Although theatres won’t be open at the start of 2021, there’s lots of shows to look forward to. There’s world premieres including Ephraim Sykes in MJ The Musical, as well as revivals of The Music Man and Caroline, or Change. If you’re looking for a slice of theatre action on New Year’s Day, why not watch Ratatouille The Musical, a Tiktok/Disney creation benefitting The Actors’ Fund. 

Here’s our top picks for Broadway shows in 2021.

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