Broadway live shows will return to the stage on September 14 after an 18-month hiatus to fight the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
New York Governor Andrey Cuomo said tickets for the live shows will go on sale this Thursday and theaters will be able to operate at 100% capacity. Broadway theaters are one of the main tourist attractions in New York.
As Governor Andrey said on Twitter, “Broadway is a major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again”
Live theater is one of the last sectors to make a comeback after the pandemic due to the challenges of social distancing for actors, backstage crews, and narrow-seat audiences in old buildings.
Thousands of actors, dancers, musicians, and backstage workers were left without work when Broadway theaters closed in March 2020. Some shows, such as the hit musicals "Frozen" and "Mean Girls" have said they will not return. Thirty-one Broadway shows were in production when the shutdown began, including hits such as “Hamilton” “The Lion King” and “Wicked.”
More than 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway plays in the 2018-19 season that culminated in May, generating $1.8 billion, according to the Broadway League.
“It’s time to get back to work, and I can’t wait to be back on stage very soon,” said Sara Bareilles, songwriter, and star of the musical “Waitress”
But the big question is, how will shows determine the way the audience will be sitting depending If they have the COVID-19 vaccine or not. This is how the Director of the State Budget Division, Robert F. Mujica, answered that question: "This has not been determined yet, and from now until then it will be evaluated how many people have already been vaccinated, and guides will be made to seat the public in these interior spaces, and the idea is that between now and September we can do it in full capacity".
Cuomo added that between now and September there is plenty of time to determine exactly how the seat allocation system will work in theaters. "Each person will take their own risk of going or not to a place, but if someone knows that they will be sitting for two hours next to one who is vaccinated, they will surely feel safe, and they will continue to wear the masks."
The city is ready to reopen 100% on July 1
New York City will reopen at 100% capacity on July 1, guaranteeing that we will have "a great summer in the city" will be lived as they are used to. New Yorkers, with cultural events, restaurants, and shops running at full capacity.
Mayor Bill de Blasio explained that the date was decided, “as we move forward with a recovery for all of us, it is time to set a goal for a full reopening of New York City, and that goal is July 1”.
Ensuring that vaccination will be key to achieving that 100% reopening, De Blasio recalled that the City is doing everything possible to facilitate the immunization process for all New Yorkers. “We are doing a lot to reach people in their communities and elsewhere. And I love this part. For example, the American Museum of Natural History is providing free vaccinations under the blue whale."