This summer, New Yorkers were able to do just about everything they could in 2019: eat in a crowded restaurant, go to a soccer game, get a shiatsu massage, sweat in a nightclub, freeze in a movie theater and fly to Paris when they’ve had enough of the disgusting summer in New York.
The final stop on the reopening – and we’ve always known it would be – is Broadway.
The beating heart of Times Square – the historic 41 theaters on Broadway – comes to life this month. Bruce Springsteen has helped keep the lights on since late June, but a new bona fide play, “Pass Over,” opens Sunday night. On September 2, Tony’s Best Musical Award-winning “Hadestown” and “Waitress,” starring Sara Bareilles, will kick off at 47th Street.
The behemoths “The Lion King”, “Hamilton”, “Wicked”, “Chicago” and “Moulin Rouge” will follow soon in September.
Jeanna de Waal, who plays Princess Diana in the upcoming musical ‘Diana’, told The Post: “Live theater is back and I thank God for being at the forefront of this experience.”
Broadway producer and president of Jujamcyn Theaters Jordan Roth said, “For so long this is what we’ve all dreamed of, hoped for, planned and replanned. To be together safely in celebration and in community. Because that’s what makes New York New York. This is what brings life to life. This dream is finally here and we are all so ready!
Good ol ‘Broadway will be a little different from the way we left it, for better or for worse. The public, at first, will wear face masks and present proof of vaccination at the door. A few shows – “West Side Story”, “Frozen”, “Mean Girls” – have closed prematurely due to pandemic struggles. Powerful producer Scott Rudin, who had several shows going and many more in the works, stepped down after a Hollywood Reporter story alleged he was emotionally abusive of staff.
A record-breaking eight new plays by black playwrights will debut this season.
But there is one thing that is unchanged and timeless: that feeling of taking place in a legendary theater where Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury or James Earl Jones have already performed. The lights go out and suddenly it hits you.
I’m at a Broadway show.
Here’s the Post’s guide to an unusual and unforgettable fall 2021 season on Broadway.
What new shows are opening?
“Pass Over” (August 22)
Two guys are sitting on a street corner chatting. Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s play, starring Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood, is inspired by “Waiting for Godot”, but addresses the problems of the modern city.
August Wilson Theater, 245 W. 52nd St .; 888-985-9421.
“Lackawanna Blues” (September 28)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson is bringing his autobiographical one-man show back to the New York scene for the first time in 20 years.
Samuel J. Friedman Theater, 261 W. 47th St .; 212-399-3000.
“Six” (Oct 3, 3)
Your teenage daughter already knows every word of “Six,” a sparkling pop concert featuring the sextet of despised wives of Henry VIII. The little musical has 100 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music.
Brooks Atkinson Theater, 256 W. 47th St .; 212-719-4099.
“Chicken & Biscuits” (Oct. 10)
There is nothing funnier than a funeral. Norm Lewis and Michael Urie star in this new comedy about an exuberant family reunited after their father kicks the bucket.
Circle in the Square Theater, 1633 Broadway; 212-307-0388.
“Is it a room?” “(Oct. 11)
In a strange move, this documentary theater drama will be exchanged nightly at the Lyceum Theater with the play “Dana H.” The script in the play is the actual FBI transcript of the interrogation of Reality Winner, who is in jail for leaking government information.
Lyceum Theater, 149 W. 45th St .; 212-239-6200.
“The Lehman Trilogy” (October 14)
The story of more than a century of Lehman Brothers is told by just three men – from its founding as a modest store to its disastrous collapse in 2008 as America’s fourth-largest investment bank. Be forewarned: going through 100 years of facts takes about 3 hours.
Nederlander Theater, 208 W. 41st St .; 212-921-8000.
“Dana H.” (October 17)
From the fascinating playwright Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House Part II”), a deeply personal play: actress Deirdre O’Connell syncs to a recording of Hnath’s mother recounting being kidnapped by a man.
Lyceum Theater, 149 W. 45th St .; 212-239-6200.
“Caroline or change” (Oct. 27)
Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner’s musical was not a success when it first performed on Broadway in 2004. But the show about a dark maid with a vivid imagination has developed a fan base. dedicated. This production, starring Sharon D. Clarke, arrives in New York via London.
Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St.; 212-719-1300.
“Diane” (November 17)
Thanks to Harry and Meghan, the royal family has been in the news all the time. Now they are also on stage in a new musical about the eventful life of Princess Diana – performed by Jeanna de Waal. “To re-prepare for this role on Broadway is an incredible honor that requires a new level of courage and is filled with joy,” said de Waal.
Longacre Theater, 220 W. 48th St .; 212-239-6200.
“Trouble en tête” (November 18)
The wonderful LaChanze stars in the 1955 Alice Childress drama about an actress rehearsing an anti-lynching play on Broadway.
American Airlines Theater, 227 W. 42nd St .; 212-719-1300.
“Clyde’s” (November 22)
In this new play by the great writer Lynn Nottage, a woman runs a sandwich shop where former inmates are getting back on their feet. It stars Uzo Aduba and Ron Cephas Jones.
Hayes Theater, 240 W. 44th St .; 212-541-4516.
What are the new COVID rules?
Like almost everywhere else in New York City today, you must show proof of vaccination (for example, your CDC card or Excelsior pass) to enter any Broadway theater. A negative test result will not cut it off. Then, once inside, you have to wear a mask, even in your place. These rules will remain in place at least until October 31, but expect them to be extended.
Bathrooms, you say? You will find that many new shows are 90 minutes long and have no intermission, to avoid crowds at the bar and washrooms. But for shows with one or two intermissions, the procedure will be the same – crowded, meandering lines – but with masks.
Can I bring my children?
Bringing kids to events in New York City these days can be confusing. The Metropolitan Opera, for example, will not allow children under the age of 12 at this time until they can be vaccinated.
However, children can immediately enjoy Broadway again. “Aladdin” would be quite embarrassing if they couldn’t. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 should either show a negative PCR test performed within the previous 72 hours or a negative antigen test performed within the previous 6 hours. They must also mask themselves.
What about eating and drinking?
Do not worry. Your $ 27 pinot grigio and your $ 10 M&M aren’t going anywhere. But after you buy them at the bar, you need to bring them back to your place and only unmask them when you take a sip or a bite.
Are theater district restaurants open for dinner again?
The famous Joe Allen (326 W. 46th St.) reopened Wednesday evening. Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey was in attendance for his kick off dinner service.
The Italian pillar Barbetta (321 W. 46th St.) is also back. As is the popular Bond 45 (221 W. 46th St.) and Hurley’s Saloon (232 W. 48th St.).
Expect the legendary Sardi’s (234 W. 44th St.) and Cafe Un Deux Trois (123 W. 44th St.) to reopen later in the fall.
The Glass House Tavern (252 W. 47th Street), where the original “Hamilton” cast hung out nightly, opened with a bang in July.
“It’s great to see our customers,” Glass House owner Chris Reilly told The Post. “We wanted to be ready when people came back to town, and it was great to see the whole Broadway community here. We look forward to the reopening of Broadway.