Friday, May 14, 2021

New York’s theater scene has heated up in recent weeks with news that New Jersey Governor Andrew Cuomo has closed Broadway theaters and indefinitely postponed the Tony Awards. Uncertainty about when theaters and Broadway-bound tourists might return has forced producers to close shows early and postpone new productions for the future. Edward Albee’s classic drama starring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett had only nine previews before Broadway went dark, and now the theater will remain dark until at least September. After the performance in mid-April, the Broadway theater scene is heating up again, but not for long. Here’s what is the state of Broadway in 2021.

Announcements

The Noah Haidle play, starring Debra Messing and Andre Braugher, was originally scheduled to start in early April, but producers decided to end the show on March 21, so an official opening on April 9 is off the table. Lincoln Center Theater announced on March 24 that its opening would be postponed until the fall and then until spring 2021 and June.

Manhattan Theatre Club

On April 7, the Manhattan Theatre Club announced that it is postponing “How to Learn to Drive,” directed by Mary Louise Parker, for the 2020-21 season. On March 25, the Roundabout Theatre Company announced that it would open its new production of “The Road” in the fall. The show was scheduled for April 7 at Studio 54, but will now be shown in New York in the spring of 2021 and June.

Wintergarten Theater

The Tony-nominated musical was released by the Wintergarten Theater after ticket sales improved dramatically in the fall and winter. Now, there’s no guarantee of that, but producers hope to find a new theater with the opening of Broadway 2021. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, directed by Stephen Sondheim, is scheduled to open at the New York Theatre Company in October 2021 after a two-year run on Broadway’s West End.

Plaza Suite

The adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 film had 27 previews and 366 regular performances, but the show was scheduled to begin in October 2021 after the theater closed. The new Neil Simon comedy, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, will return to the New York Theatre Company in November 2021 for the first time in three years.

MJ

The new Michael Jackson musical, starring Michael Chabon, Michael Cera and a host of other stars, was originally scheduled to start in July but has been postponed.

The remake of the classic musical, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, was due to be released officially in cinemas on October 15. The Tony-nominated show opened in March 2018 and had 825 performances and 26 previews. As the opening is scheduled for April 15, 2021, the premiere has been postponed until next spring.

Mean Girls

Mean Girls, which concluded in the summer of 2018 with a total of 825 performances and 26 previews, according to the website.

Adapted from Fey’s 2004 film by Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, the musical opened in April 2018 and played 805 performances before the pandemic shut it down. On January 7, 2011, producers announced that the show would not continue, according to the website. Broadway postponed this year’s Tony Awards, which were scheduled to take place at Radio City Music Hall from June 7 to March 25, until after the end of the year, without saying when performances might resume on Broadway in 2021. A date for the ceremony has not yet been set, although nominations have been announced in October 2020.

Here are the best musicals that never made it to Broadway.

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