‘Hadestown’ jumps ahead of pack to welcome Broadway patrons

Entertainment News

A woman walks past the Walter Kerr Theatre, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in New York where Hadestown was showing before the coronavirus pandemic forced its closing a year ago. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that Broadway theaters can reopen Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — “Hadestown,” the brooding musical about the underworld, has set its Broadway reopening date on Sept. 2, jumping ahead of such megahits as “Hamilton” and “Wicked” to position itself as the first show to welcome audiences on Broadway since the pandemic.

Producers announced Monday that tickets will go on sale June 11 for the eight-time Tony Award winning musical and that the production will resume playing the Walter Kerr Theatre weeks before its rivals. The first Broadway show to welcome a live audience is likely to get a lot of attention.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said Broadway theaters could reopen Sept. 14 but producers “may make their own economic decision as to when they reopen.” They also will be allowed to decide their own entry requirements, like whether people must prove they’ve been vaccinated to attend a show.

Soon thereafter, “Hamilton, ”Wicked” and “The Lion King” announced they would restart their shows Sept. 14, as did the long-running revival of “Chicago” and the new “Lackawanna Blues.” Others have staked out spots further into fall and winter, including “Six” and David Byrne’s “American Utopia” for Sept. 17 and “Dear Evan Hansen” in December. Some off-Broadway shows have already restarted with social distancing guidelines.

The Broadway that reopens will look different. The big budget Disney musical “Frozen” decided not to reopen when Broadway theaters restart and producers of the musical “Mean Girls” also decided not to return.

But there will be new shows, including Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over” that is slated to reopen the August Wilson Theatre, the same venue “Mean Girls” has vacated. And the Golden Theatre has been promised for playwright Keenan Scott II’s play “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” which will begin previews Oct. 1.

All city theaters abruptly closed on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows, including 16 that were still scheduled to open.

Some scheduled spring 2020 shows — like a musical about Michael Jackson and a revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker — pushed their productions to 2021. But others abandoned their plans, including “Hangmen” and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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