Broadway will remain closed for at least the rest of this year, and many shows are signaling that they do not expect a return to the stage until late winter or early spring.
The Broadway League said Monday that theater owners and producers are ready to refund or exchange tickets previously purchased for shows through Jan. 3. But, given the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic that has prompted the shuttering of Broadway, the League said it was not yet ready to specify a date when shows will reopen.
Broadway shows went dark on March 12, and already this has been the longest shutdown in history. Thus far three shows, the Disney musical “Frozen,” which had opened in 2018, a new Martin McDonagh play called “Hangmen,” and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” both of which were in previews, have announced that they will not resume performances when Broadway reopens.
Several producers have indicated that they are looking several months into the new year for a resumption of Broadway shows. The earliest date chosen thus far is for “The Minutes,” a new play by Tracy Letts, which hopes to open March 15. A revival of “American Buffalo,” a play by David Mamet, is aiming for April 14; “MJ the Musical,” a new show about Michael Jackson, says it will open April 15, and “The Music Man,” a revival starring Hugh Jackman, plans to open May 20.
Several other shows have said they plan to open next spring, but have not announced exactly when, including a revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as Lincoln Center Theater’s new musical, “Flying Over Sunset,” and Roundabout Theater Company’s revivals of the musicals “1776” and “Caroline, or Change.”
Roundabout last week also announced that it would stage “Birthday Candles,” a new play by Noah Haidle that had been scheduled to open this spring, in the fall of 2021, and that in the winter of 2021-22 it would stage the first Broadway production of “Trouble in Mind,” a 1955 play by Alice Childress. The Childress play, which is to be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, is about racism in theater, and is the first by a black writer added to the Broadway calendar since an intensified national discussion about racial injustice was prompted by the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.