The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much havoc worldwide. For avid theatergoers, the cancellation of Broadway shows has been one of the impacts that has been felt deeply.
With so much evidence pointing to how efficiently the virus can spread indoors, it is certainly a wise decision for theaters to go dark during this time.
It does have some people wondering when they will be able to be back in the seats for a Broadway show again. In fact, many are starting to wonder if there will be a Broadway season for the 2021 calendar year.
The Impact of the Coronavirus on Broadway Thus Far
There have not been any musicals on Broadway for months. With all these theaters going dark for such a prolonged period, many have felt the impact.
The theater industry brings in almost $15 billion in revenue for New York City. The economic hit of that loss has been felt by many industries across the city.
The pandemic has also caused almost 100,000 people to live their lives in limbo because they rely on income from the theater industry.
It is clear that many are feeling the pain of this stoppage, so the Broadway League has announced that it is committed to reopening as soon as it is feasible.
Many reopening dates have come and gone while the coronavirus shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, a second surge of the illness is sweeping across the nation.
There are positive signs. Pfizer has just announced that they have a virus that is over 90% effective at preventing a coronavirus infection.
When Will Broadway Reopen?
Tentatively, the Broadway season has been given a date of May 30th, 2021 for reopening.
With the recent vaccine news, there is hope that this date might actually be a realistic one. Much of it will depend on factors that are beyond the control of anyone in the industry.
During the shutdown, many Broadway shows have announced that they will not be returning when theaters reopen.
Frozen, Beetlejuice, and the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? have all stated they will not be back.
Meanwhile, other shows have decided to push back their opening to a later date. American Buffalo, Plaza Suite, and the revival of the Music Man are all shows that have pushed their date back.
It’s a Toss Up
Right now, it is difficult to predict if the Broadway season will be happening in 2021. If Broadway can’t reopen in 2021, the loss will be felt not only by the thousands of people who work on Broadway, but also by audiences who believe in the lasting power and importance of Broadway.
If production can ramp up in time to get a vaccine out to people, there may be hope that audiences will be able to see their favorite shows next year.