By: Shaina Semaña
Listen up, theater fans: Broadway is back! Yes, you read that right. Broadway will be reopening its doors on September 14, more than a year after its shutdown due to the pandemic. The reopening announcements came shortly after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed the operation of theaters for up to 100% full capacity following specific coronavirus safety guidelines.
Broadway hits Hamilton, Wicked and The Lion King were among the first to announce comeback performances—all scheduled to reopen on September 14, 2021. Classics The Phantom of the Opera, Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin, among others, also announced their comeback by September and October this year, much to many theater enthusiasts’ anticipation.
Theater is one of the industries that was greatly affected by the pandemic. The Broadway shutdown alone projected a $100 million loss in revenue. Broadway first experienced the pandemic challenges as early as March 2020, but it was only in June when The Broadway League officially announced its indefinite shutdown after the New York government implemented public gathering restrictions. The news devastated theater fans not only in New York but all around the world as well.
Much like most industries, theater turned digital in response to the challenges it faced because of the pandemic. Many plays and musicals were made available on demand in various streaming sites, just like Hamilton which made its digital debut on July 3, 2020 via Disney+. Still, there is nothing like experiencing theater live, seeing amazing performances that will give you goosebumps and move you to tears. So, many theater fans still waited patiently for the time when live performances will be allowed again.
Which is why, with COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out and restrictions easing, theater fans in New York and all around the world celebrated the Broadway comeback news by turning to social media with the hashtag #BroadwayIsBack and purchasing their tickets. Meanwhile, Times Square in New York celebrated this great news as well by lighting up its bills with signs saying “Broadway is Back”.
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