Nearly a year and a half after the world ground to screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is prepared to "fully reopen" July 1, and that timeline includes some small theatres. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theatres, full strength,” said de Blasio on MSNBC’s Morning Joe April 29.
As for Broadway, de Blasio is sticking to the fall timeline that he announced earlier this year. “I’d say you should expect Broadway at full strength in September, but I’d love to see some of the smaller shows up in July and August.” The mayor didn’t elaborate on what specific productions he was referring to, and his optimism is not an indication that productions, navigating myriad union agreements and new safety procedures, would be able to meet that timeline.
So far, 36 percent of NYC residents are vaccinated, according to NYC Health. Some of the shots have been given at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the theatre district, which is now open to the public for walk-in appointments.
It remains unclear what a Broadway reopening will look like, including mask requirements, testing and proof of vaccination, etc. Some Broadway theatres have reopened their doors for one-off performances through the NY PopsUp initiative, offering the chance for venues to pilot such protocols on a smaller scale.
Few Broadway shows have confirmed specific 2021 dates for their curtains to rise (Diana intends to resume previews December 1 after debuting on Netflix; the revival of The Music Man has performances beginning December 20). Other shows—such as Six, which was to open on the day the theatre shutdown began—have begun to tease reopening announcements, with more details on the horizon.