Broadway closed its doors in March and isn’t slated to reopen again until June. However, one producer suggests that the Great White Way may not open until next year.
UK theater owner and producer Cameron Mackintosh suggested that venues in the U.K. and U.S. may not be able to reopen until 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Mackintosh explained in an interview with BBC Radio Two that the West End and Broadway would be “the last to go back” after lockdowns ease.
“For major producers both sides of the Atlantic, the truth is until social distancing doesn’t exist any more, we can’t even plan to reopen,” Mackintosh said. “We will be back, but we need time to get back. if we don’t hear [about the lockdown lifting] in a few weeks, I think the truth is we won’t be able to come back until early next year. I think that’s quite clear.”
He went on to note that “the longer it is until we can say social distancing is gone, the longer it’ll be for the theatre to come back.”
Currently, West End shows have been cancelled until at least May 31, while Broadway is cancelled through June 7. However, according to Deadline, Broadway aligned with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to plan to reopen theaters in the city. Both estimated that September might be the earliest possible date to open its doors.
Even when shows return, what will that look like? Social distancing protocols may need to be implemented in theaters, while some shows may need to do some rearranging. For example, the famed show Beetlejuice was slated to wrap-up in April, however, the shutdown intercepted its plans. Now, the show may return to the Great White Way in a different theater.
In the meantime, Broadway is trying to keep the spirit of theater alive through live streams. See the full list of livestream shows via Playbill.
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