Broadway announces the reopening of musicals and shows to vaccinated audiences
This Sept., Broadway shows are returning to New York with actors and audiences eager to get back into the theaters. Safety guidelines and vaccine policies are now in place to allow a fun-filled, safe environment for the population.
According to Reuters, “New York’s Times Square will highlight the 18 musicals and five plays that open over the next few weeks.” Many that will be opening in Sept. include: Wicked, Hamilton, Lion King, Chicago, Moulin Rouge and Aladdin while others are set to be released Oct. 2021 through March of 2022.
All audience members, actors and staff must be vaccinated to attend the shows and musicals. Audience members are also required to wear masks as social distancing is not available in the theaters. According to The Broadway Leagues, “Exceptions are being made for children under 12 and people with a medical conditions or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination.” Those with these exceptions need to provide a recent negative COVID-19 test.
The return of Broadway has been an awaited event as it is one of New York City’s greatest appeals. According to Broadway Leagues, “Broadway attendance for the 2018-2019 season topped those of the ten professional NYC Metro-area sports teams combined (Mets, Yankees, Rangers, Islanders, Knicks, Liberty, Giants, Jets, Devils and Nets).”
For the first time in 18 months since March of 2020, broadway actors and staff are returning to work. The return of Broadway is also a huge boost to the local economy. Broadway Leagues states that “Broadway contributes $14.7 billion to the economy of New York City on top of ticket sales and supports 96,900 local jobs.”
New cast members are also returning to the stage. Singer and songwriter, Sara Bareilles is filling the role of Jenna in “The Waitress”. According to CBS, “Bareilles wrote the music and lyrics for the show, receiving a Tony nomination in 2016.” This is not her first time on the “Waitress” stage as she later went on to play the lead three times during its almost-four-year run, according to CBS.
Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster are set to star as the leads in “Music Man.” Tickets for the musical are selling for $700 for the release in Feb. 2022.
As many foreign tourists are still prohibited from visiting the U.S., Broadway is questioning whether all the seats will be filled. According to Broadway Leagues, in 2019 audiences were split as 35% were locals, 46% were U.S. tourists and 19% were international tourists. Travel restrictions could limit the audience count.