Broadway to Reopen, But Not Quite Yet
Plays slated to return in the fall after long hiatus
BY TAT BELLAMY-WALKER
Governor Andrew Cuomo
is giving Broadway the
green light to reopen
on May 19 — but that
doesn’t mean everyone is ready to
open the fl oodgates just yet.
In a COVID-19 briefi ng on May 3,
Cuomo announced that the reopening
of stages in New York would
coincide with the easing of capacity
restrictions in retail stores, food
services, gyms, fi tness centers,
amusement, family entertainment,
and hair salons. Patrons must adhere
to social distancing guidelines
and wear masks at the venues.
The announcement comes weeks
after a gradual early April reopening
in which some Broadway theaters
hosted pop-up theater performances.
Still, shows are suspended
through at least May 30, according
to Broadway League, and governor
The governor is allowing Broadway to return, but it will take time for everything to get going again.
acknowledged that plays would not
likely resume immediately.
“They have to produce a play before
they can sell the play,” he said.
“So there’s a schedule for them, but
from a capacity point of view they
can all reopen on May 19th.”
On May 5, Cuomo announced
that “full capacity” performances
would return September 14.
“Broadway is at the core of our
New York identity, and a big part of
our economy which employs countless
performers and show creators,
and beginning this September, the
show will go on,” Cuomo said during
a press conference. “Thankfully, as
we continue to monitor the data and
reopen our economy, we are now on
track to allow full capacity performances
on Broadway to resume in
September, bringing back this beloved
Sandy Sahar Gooen, a member
of Local 802, a union for musicians,
and the Dramatists Guild, a
professional association for theater
workers, told Gay City News that
the governor’s initial announcement
on May 3 seemed rushed.
“When Broadway wanted to reopen
earlier, Cuomo was saying,
‘I wouldn’t trust what Broadway
is saying,’ And now he’s actually
going against what the Broadway
League and just a lot of theaters
have decided,” Gooen said.
The reopening of Broadway may
also be impacted by growing calls
to make the industry more inclusive
and diverse of people of color, individuals
with disabilities, and queer,
trans, and non-binary performers.
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MAY 6 - MAY 19, 2 8 021 | GayCityNews.com