How Broadway is making its debut back into the world


After a long break from performing, Broadway and its performances are making their way back into the world.

Julie Nagel

Last year, amidst the chaos of worldwide closures, Broadway theaters locked their doors for what they expected to be a short 32 days. Little did anyone expect that 32 days would eventually turn into 16 months. 

After being closed for over a year, Broadway is ready to open back up. To celebrate the return of Broadway, the Tony Awards will be returning for its 74th annual awards ceremony with a special program following right after called Broadway’s Back! According to the Tony Awards website, this special concert event will host an array of performances from Tony nominees and is set to take place on CBS and Paramount+ on September 26.

The first two shows that kicked off the reopening of one of New York’s most popular tourist attractions were “Springsteen On Broadway” and “Pass Over,” which opened in late August.

“About 30 shows are currently planning to begin performances on Broadway before the end of 2021,” said an article by the New York Times. Fan favorites, such as “Hadestown,” “Wicked” and “Hamilton” are set to reopen this month with new restrictions set in place for its audience members, such as proof of full vaccination and the usage of masks.

In addition to returning to the big stage, three hit musicals are making their way to the big screen this year. This summer, “In the Heights,” originally a Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) based on the novel by Quiara Alegría Hudes, made a splash on screen and off as controversy swirled around the film for colorism. The film was originally set to debut in movie theaters in 2020 but was ultimately delayed due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

“We want people to have the movie theater experience— And with it being a musical, if you look back at history, that kind of movie has always brought people together at the worst times to celebrate life. And now we need that even more so,” Director Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) said in an interview with Insider last March.

Also appearing on the silver screen this fall is “Dear Evan Hansen,” in which the title character is played by Ben Platt, who originated the role during its first runs in Washington D.C., Off-Broadway and its original Broadway production from 2015 to 2017. The movie was filmed during the pandemic, with its actors having to quarantine during production.

“There was sort of a collective realization that in terms of being able to make the movie with me, we’re running out of time,” said Platt in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. ”I think everybody knew this could really have the potential to be something special and was worth running against the clock to do, even in the midst of a pandemic.” “Dear Evan Hansen” is set to hit theaters Sept. 24.

In December, critically acclaimed director, Steven Spielberg, is bringing “West Side Story” back to the theaters. Starting as an original Broadway production in 1957, it was originally adapted into a musical film in 1961. “West Side Story” pays homage to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in a story of a forbidden teenage love between two members of rival street gangs set in New York City.

West Side Story has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to,” said Steven Spielberg in an interview with Vanity Fair last April. The movie also stars Rita Moreno, who starred in the role of Anita in the 1961 film adaptation. 

Broadway lovers around the country can now rejoice as we return to what will hopefully be a musically packed season!