New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has given Broadway shows the OK to reopen this month.
Cuomo made the announcement as part of his COVID-19 briefing on May 3. In the speech, he announced the easing of social distancing restrictions in certain venues including restaurants, salons, gyms, and yes, Broadway theaters. Patrons will still have to socially distance and wear masks as a precaution.
The governor further clarified in a statement May 5 that Broadway can reopen at partial capacity beginning May 19. Shows can regain full capacity in September, and it may take that long until we see reopenings actually happen.
“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Cuomo said. “Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume in September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”
The enormous cost of mounting a production makes performing below a certain capacity financially unviable. The announcement of the September full-capacity date will allow shows to begin selling tickets, and help establish more firm dates for reopening. All Broadway theaters have been shut since March 12, 2020.