Broadway Shows Officially Won't Resume Until 2021

COVID will keep theaters shuttered until the new year.

broadway new york city
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When the coronavirus crisis first hit the United States in March, Broadway announced it was closing until April. That closure was extended, first to June, then to September. Now, the Broadway League has made it official: There will be no Great White Way for the rest of the year. Broadway is now officially closed until January 3, 2021. 

The decision makes sense: Even though New York has begun the process of opening back up -- where the next phases of reopening are already being reconsidered -- the idea of cramming people into a windowless theater to watch others sing and dance without social distancing is worrisome, unappealing, and a recipe for a spike in COVID cases. "The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal," Broadway League chairman Thomas Schumacher said in a statement. "The alchemy of 1,000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses." 

Even before the Broadway League's announcement, productions were already moving to 2021. Tracy Letts' The Minutes and a revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, both scheduled for this now-aborted season, are opening in the spring of 2021. The same will go for Lincoln Center Theater's new LSD-fueled musical Flying Over Sunset. The latest production of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster was supposed to strike up the band in September, but now will wait until April to begin previews. 

For now, going to see a show is a far-off dream. At least there's Hamilton on Disney+ to tide us theater nerds over for the time being. 

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.