Broadway's back: 'Hamilton,' 'Lion King' among blockbuster musicals reopening today

Broadway's biggest hits are back!
MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The highest grossing Broadway musical of all time returned to the stage Tuesday along with other blockbuster hits as the Great White Way springs back to life after 18 months in the dark due the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lion King, Hamilton, Wicked and Chicago will once again raise the curtain -- this time for crowds that are fully vaccinated and wearing masks.
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Previews will also begin for Lackawanna Blues, with opening night scheduled for September 28.

"When you think of New York City...it's the capital of arts and culture," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "People love Broadway. When Broadway is up and running, it says so much about New York City. And tonight, a lot of Broadway is coming back...You can feel the life of the city coming back."

Lin-Manuel Miranda was on hand to welcome theatergoers back to Broadway before Tuesday night's performance of Hamilton.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda welcomes theater patrons back to Broadway before "Hamilton" resumed performances after 18 months.



MTA officials also joined cast members from The Lion King and the head of the Broadway League outside the Times Square-42nd Street subway station to encourage New Yorkers to take mass transit to Broadway.

The MTA said subways had record pandemic-era ridership Monday, and they're hoping that trend continues as curtains rise.

"When Broadway returns, New York returns," Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said. "And the 97,000 workers that Broadway hires are getting back to work."
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Waitress returned September 2 with Sara Bareilles reprising her role.

"To describe the feeling in the room as electric does not even do it close to justice," she said. "It was standing ovations before the curtain even went up."

The Broadway League launched "This is Broadway," a historic initiative to welcome theater lovers back to Times Square following the industry's historic shutdown.

"This is Broadway" is the result of unprecedented partnerships between theater owners, myriad behind-the-scenes professionals, and industry competitors to create a unified comeback campaign that shouts to the world "Broadway is BACK!" and celebrates an international art form that is quintessentially American.

"It's really really exciting," St. Martin said. "The energy is palpable."

The Broadway League represents an industry responsible for billions of dollars to the city every year, but because of its uniquely tight spaces and high costs to operate, Broadway simply couldn't reopen at reduced capacity.

Instead, it waited until it could require vaccines and masks, with kids under 12 showing a recent negative COVID test, and an all clear from a platoon of experts that seeing a show is safe.

"Broadway will be here for hundreds of years, and it will continue to be here," St. Martin said. "People have to have theater."

The first Broadway shows to resume production were Springsteen on Broadway (which ran through September 4), Pass Over, Hadestown, and Waitress, and more will re-open in the next few weeks.

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Six begins previews on September 17 with opening night set for October 3, while American Utopia also opens September 17.

Come From Away comes back on September 21, Chicken & Biscuits debuts on September 23, Moulin Rouge and Is This A Room on September 24, and The Lehman Trilogy on September 25.

Aladdin is the final show reopening this month, set to resume on September 28.

Here is a list of all the shows reopening this fall and continuing into 2022:

Chicago


Opening date: Sept. 14, 2021
"Chicago" will reopen at the Ambassador Theatre on Sept. 14, with regular performances scheduled through February 2022. The musical, set in 1920s Chicago, follows Velma and Roxie, two women who have been put in jail for murder.

Hamilton


Opening date: Sept. 14, 2021
"Hamilton" will reopen at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Sept. 14, with regular performances scheduled through June 2022. The musical follows the rise and fall of one of the United States' most influential founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

The Lion King


Opening date: Sept. 14, 2021
"The Lion King'' will reopen at the Minskoff Theatre on Sept. 14, with regular performances scheduled through August 2022. The musical is a stage adaptation of the 1994 Disney movie and follows the adventures of Simba after the death of his father.

Wicked


Opening date: Sept. 14, 2021
"Wicked" will reopen at the Gershwin Theatre on Sept. 14, with regular performances scheduled through March 2022. The musical tells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.

American Utopia


Opening date: Sept. 17, 2021
"American Utopia" will reopen at theatre to be announced on Sept. 17, with regular performances scheduled through January 2022. The idea for the theatrical concert comes from singer David Byrne, former frontman for the Talking Heads.

Come From Away


Opening date: Sept. 21, 2021
"Come From Away" will reopen at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Sept. 21, with regular performances scheduled through June 2022. The musical is based on the true story of 7,000 passengers who found themselves stranded in Gander, Newfoundland, after their planes were diverted.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical


Opening date: Sept. 24, 2021
"Moulin Rouge! The Musical" will officially reopen at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Sept. 24, though there will be a special dress rehearsal on Sept. 23 to honor front-line workers. The musical is a stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 movie by the same name.

Aladdin


Opening date: Sept. 28, 2021
"Aladdin" will reopen at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Sept. 28, with regular performances scheduled through August 2022. The musical follows the Disney movie by the same name, in which Princess Jasmine wants to experience more than typical royal life, Jafar plans to take over the throne, and both meet Aladdin, who shakes up the status quo.

Lackawanna Blues


Opening date: Sept. 28, 2021
"Lackawanna Blues" will open on Sept. 28 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre -- though previews will start on Sept. 14. The solo play is written, directed, and performed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and is all about a woman named Miss Rachel, who raised him.

Six


Opening date:

Oct. 3, 2021
After having its opening night rescheduled due to the pandemic, "Six" will open on Oct. 3 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre -- though previews will start on Sept. 17, and regular performances are scheduled through March 2022. The musical follows Henry VIII's six wives and their stories.

To Kill a Mockingbird


Opening date: Oct. 5, 2021
"To Kill a Mockingbird" will reopen at the Shubert Theatre on Oct. 5, with regular performances scheduled through February 2022. The play is a stage adaptation of the novel by Harper Lee.

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical


Opening date: Oct. 8, 2021
"Tina" will reopen at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Oct. 8. The musical details the famous singer's history, from her early life to her current status as a rock icon.

Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations


Opening date: Oct. 16, 2021
"Ain't Too Proud" will reopen at the Imperial Theatre on Oct. 16, with regular performances scheduled through July 2022. The musical tells the story of Motown group The Temptations, from their beginnings to the Hall of Fame.

Jagged Little Pill


Opening date: Oct. 21, 2021
"Jagged Little Pill" will reopen at the Broadhurst Theatre on Oct. 21, with regular performances scheduled through July 2022. The musical is based on singer Alanis Morissette's music.

The Phantom of the Opera


Opening date: Oct. 22, 2021
"The Phantom of the Opera" will reopen at the Majestic Theatre on Oct. 22, with regular performances scheduled through March 2022. Broadway's longest-running show, the musical is based on a 1910 horror book by Gaston Leroux, and is about a masked figure that haunts the Paris Opera House.

Caroline, or Change


Opening date: Oct. 27, 2021
Previews for "Caroline, or Change" were initially scheduled for March 2020, but were pushed due to the pandemic. The musical will now have its opening night on Oct. 27 at Studio 54, with previews beginning on Oct. 8. It follows a Black maid working for a Jewish family in 1963 Louisiana.

Diana


Opening date: Nov. 17, 2021
"Diana" will open at the Longacre Theatre on Nov. 17, though previews will start on Nov. 2; regular performances are scheduled through November 2022. The musical follows the late Princess of Wales' life and legacy.

Trouble in Mind


Opening date: Nov. 18, 2021
"Trouble in Mind" will open for the first time at the American Airlines Theatre on Nov. 18, though previews will start on Oct. 29. The play follows Wiletta Mayer, a Black actress who is continually typecast due to the color of her skin, as she gears up for a play that discusses racism in the U.S.

Mrs. Doubtfire


Opening date: Dec. 5, 2021
"Mrs. Doubtfire" will open at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on Dec. 5, though previews will start on Oct. 21; regular performances are scheduled through May 2022. The musical will adapt the 1993 movie for the stage, and follow the same story of an actor who dresses up as a nanny to stay in his children's lives.

Flying Over Sunset


Opening date: Dec. 6, 2021
"Flying Over Sunset" will open at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on Dec. 6, though previews will begin on Nov. 4. Set in 1950s Hollywood, the musical follows Cary Grant, Clare Boothe Luce and Aldous Huxley as they experiment with LSD.

Dear Evan Hansen


Opening date: Dec. 11, 2021
"Dear Evan Hansen" will reopen at the Music Box Theatre on Dec. 11, with regular performances scheduled through June 2022. The musical follows the titular character, Evan Hansen, as he goes through life and writes letters to himself along the way.

Company


Opening date: Jan. 9, 2022
"Company" will open at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on Jan. 9 of next year, though previews will start on Dec. 20; regular performances are scheduled through June 2022. The musical follows Bobbie as she navigates love in New York City.

MJ


Opening date: Feb. 1, 2022
"MJ" will open at the Neil Simon Theatre on Feb. 1 of next year, though previews will begin on Dec. 6. The musical is based around Michael Jackson's life and will reintroduce audiences to the King of Pop.

Visit ThisIsBroadway.org to find a comprehensive overview of what's playing on Broadway.

(Some information from Good Morning America)

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