A Broadway theater played at full capacity Saturday for the first time since March 11, 2020.
Bruce Springsteen ushered in the Broadway reopening with the first performance of “Springsteen on Broadway” at the 1,721-seat St. James Theatre. Patrons over the age of 16 needed to provide proof of vaccination for entry.
Once inside, vaccinated patrons were not required to wear masks, according to the Jujamcyn safety policy. The auditorium ventilation system has been upgraded with MERV 13 filters.
Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over” is currently scheduled to be the next Broadway show to open, with a first preview date on Aug. 4. “Hadestown” is scheduled to follow Sept. 2, with “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” opening Sept. 14 and many more scheduled to follow.
The St. James Theatre previously held a pop-up event in April, at which time the theater tested out COVID-19 protocols including staggered arrival times, digital ticketing and the requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
The forthcoming Broadway shows have not yet declared what COVID-19 protocols will be in place at the time of reopening. However, each show has said its producers and theater owners will set a policy in coordination with the state closer to the reopening dates.
The state’s current policy, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on May 26, allows venues to open at full capacity and drop any mask requirement, so long as the audience members are fully vaccinated.
“Springsteen on Broadway” is reprising its run after an engagement at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre from October 2017 to December 2018. The current run is scheduled to play the St. James Theatre through Sept. 4.
“Frozen” had been playing the St. James before the shutdown, but announced in May 2020 that it would not return.