Broadway will remain closed for at least the rest of this year and many shows report that they don’t expect a return on stage until late winter or early spring.
The Broadway League said Monday that theater owners and producers will refund or exchange tickets previously purchased for the shows until January 3. Given the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic that resulted in the closure of Broadway, the League said it was not yet ready to specify exactly when the shows will reopen.
“Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances on a set of fixed dates in early 2021
“I am cautiously optimistic, with the latest information we receive from scientists and medical professionals, that we are approaching some protocols that could work in New York and on the go,” Charlotte St. Martin, the League president, said in an interview. . “As long as they hold up, I think that after the first of the year, a continuous launch of scheduled shows is possible.”
St. Martin said that rising levels of coronavirus cases in some parts of the country have strengthened the industry’s prudent approach. “Frustration goes to the side when you talk about risking people’s lives or health,” he said.
Broadway shows it went dark on March 12, and this has already been the longest arrest in history. At the time, there were 31 shows in progress, eight of which are still previewed; eight others were on trial before the previews began.
So far three shows, the Disney musical “Frozen” which had opened in 2018, a new comedy by Martin McDonagh entitled “Hangmen”, and a revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” by Edward Albee, both of which previewed announced performances will not resume at the reopening of Broadway.
Several producers have indicated that they are looking for several months into the new year for a resumption of the Broadway shows. The first date chosen so far is for “The Minutes”, a new comedy by Tracy Letts, which hopes to open on March 15th. A revival of “American Buffalo”, a David Mamet comedy, aims for April 14; “MJ the Musical”, a new show on Michael Jackson, says it will open on April 15th, and “The Music Man”, an awakening starring Hugh Jackman, plans to open on May 20th.
Several other shows have said they want to open next spring, but haven’t exactly announced when, including a revival of Neil Simon’s “Suite Suite” with Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as the new Lincoln Center Theater musical, “Flying Over Sunset “,” And the filming of the musicals “1776” and “Caroline, or change” of the Roundabout Theater Company.
Last week’s roundabout also announced that it would stage “Birthday Candles”, a new comedy by Noah Haidle that was due to open this spring, in the fall of 2021, and which in the winter of 2021-22 would bring scene first Broadway production of “Trouble in Mind”, 1955 play by Alice Childress. Childress’s show, which will be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, speaks of racism in the theater and is the first of a black writer added to the Broadway calendar since an intense national discussion of racial injustice was provoked by the killing of George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis.