Broadway is returning, and three of the biggest shows in history aren’t sparing a moment in getting back to the stage. Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked all announced their planned returns this week, taking the stage on the first day that New York will allow productions this fall as the Great White Way plots its return to action.
The return of the three marquee productions was announced Tuesday during a joint appearance on Good Morning America. Cast members from all three musicals – Alexandra Billings, who portrayed Madame Morrible in “Wicked,” Krystal Joy Brown, who performed as Eliza in “Hamilton” and L. Steven Taylor, who performed as Mufasa from “The Lion King” – all joined the hosts on the popular morning show to make the announcement.
All three productions are running at theaters owned by the Nederlander Organization. Hamilton is at Richard Rogers Theatre, Lion King at Minskoff, and Wicked at Gershwin. Tickets are on sale for all three already.
It was only last week that state officials announced that Broadway would be able to reopen at full capacity with no social distancing requirements in place as of mid-September. Specific reopening plans for audience safety have not yet been fleshed out, though Nederlander preliminary protocols including updated air filtration and digital-only ticketing systems have been announced.
While state officials have thrown open the ability for producers to begin performances on September 14, each is making their own decisions regarding reopening plans. Other reopening dates announced since the state’s decision include Chicago on September 14, Six on September 17, Come From Away on September 21, and Phantom of the Opera on October 22. Playbill has been keeping a running tab of reopening plans, which is available here: https://www.playbill.com/reopeningupdate
Broadway has had its doors closed since the middle of March, 2020. New York is hoping to have its reopening accellerate through the spring and into summer, with plans to remove all hard audience caps this month, though capacity for crowds will continue to be in place due to CDC social distancing guidelines for the time being.