Broadway Can Reopen This Month, Says NY Governor

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The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has confirmed that theatres on Broadway will be able to reopen from 19 May.

In a statement on Monday, Governor Cuomo announced an end to state-mandated capacity restrictions, which currently affect theatres and other indoor facilities such as salons and restaurants. The current restrictions have been in place since 12 March last year.

However, Deadline have reported that both Governor Cuomo and the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, believe that many major productions will not reopen until September.

“[The theatres] have to produce a play before they can sell the play, but from capacity point of view they can all reopen on May 19,” said the Governor.

It is expected that a number of Broadway shows will announce their plans for an onstage return in the coming weeks. 

Live venues may also have the option of working around ongoing limitations by demanding proof of vaccination or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, so that theatres can reopen close to maximum capacity. Producer Ken Davenport had previously told the Financial Times that “if you’re running at 50 per cent capacity on Broadway, you’re closed… the economics just don’t support it.”

Prior to the pandemic, Broadway theatres recorded $1.8 billion of revenue in 2018-2019, and a record 14.7 million theatregoers saw a Broadway show. Meanwhile, a stimulus package from US President Joe Biden has made approximately $1.5 billion of financial support available to theatres across the country.

Words by James Hanton.


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