LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Live Broadway shows will return to the stage on Sept. 14 after an 18-month hiatus to fight the coronavirus pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.
Tickets will go on sale starting on Thursday and theaters will be allowed to fill 100% of capacity, Cuomo said. Broadway theaters are among New York’s biggest tourist attractions.
“Broadway is a major part of our state’s identity and economy, and we are thrilled that the curtains will rise again,” Cuomo said on Twitter.
Live theater is one of the last sectors to come back after the pandemic because of the challenges of social distancing for actors on stage, for crews backstage, and for audiences in cramped seating in old buildings.
Thousands of actors, dancers, musicians and backstage crew were thrown out of work when Broadway theaters closed in March 2020. Some shows, including the hit musicals “Frozen” and “Mean Girls” have said they will not return.
Thirty-one Broadway shows were in production when the shutdown began.
Each returning show will announce its re-opening date in the coming weeks, said the Broadway League, an industry group.
More than 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, bringing $1.8 billion in box office receipts, according to the Broadway League. Some 63% of those going to shows were tourists, from outside the United States or outside New York.