Since Broadway closed on March 12, 2020, actors and theatergoers alike have been anxiously awaiting the day the golden white way would open its doors once more. Those days have finally come and will continue to come through 2022, and we couldn’t be happier.
Beginning in September, returning Broadway shows will have their reopening nights. They’ve also announced that all 41 Broadway Theatres are requiring that audience members wear masks and show proof of vaccination before seeing the show. While some fan favorites such as Mean Girls and Frozen closed because of the Pandemic, others have come back even stronger and ready to perform for the audiences.
With many new shows finally getting the chance to preview and have their opening nights, there are also the shows that closed during the pandemic, and a lot of them are getting the chance to make a triumphant return. The returning shows are what we’ll be discussing here.
Hadestown: September 2nd
One of the two shows reopening on September 2nd is Hadestown, the eight-time Tony Award winning musical. With a cast that holds two tony awards as well as three nominations, Hadestown is a combination of two Greek Myths set during America’s Industrial Revolution.
Hadestown is reopening at the Walter Kerr Theatre. With music, lyrics, and a book by Anais Mitchell and Directed by Rachel Chavkin, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss. Tickets can be purchased here.
Waitress: September 2nd
Waitress is based on the 2007 movie of the same name and follows Jenna Hutcherson as she struggles in an abusive marriage. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant she feels trapped in her marriage to Earl, then begins an affair with her doctor to escape. When she suddenly finds a way out of her relationship in the form of a pie baking contest, she sees hope for both her and her child’s future.
The limited-run of Waitress runs from September 2nd until January 9th, 2022 at its new home, the Barrymore Theatre. Waitress will feature Bareilles in the leading role until October 17th, along with her current beau playing Earl. For more information and tickets, check out the official Waitress site.
Hamilton: September 14th
Probably the most popular show on Broadway right now is Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton. It first premiered on Broadway in 2016 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and has continued to sell out performances ever since opening night, solidifying its popularity and timelessness. With a record-breaking sixteen Tony Award nominations, it’s one of the must-sees on Broadway.
Lin Manuel-Miranda described Hamilton as, “America then, as told by America now.” since the show is made up of primarily actors of color playing roles of white historical figures. Both the music and the story keep audiences coming back for more. If you’d like to see the eleven-time Tony Award winning musical, check it out here.
Wicked: September 14th
As their website states: Welcome back to Oz! Another fan favorite musical, Wicked, will be reopening along with three other shows on the 14th. Wicked has been running at the Gershwin Theatre since 2004 until the Covid shutdown, but many fans and actors alike are looking forward to its reopening night.
Following the friendship and rivalry of Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West), Wicked is a story of friendship, love, trust, and integrity. Does wickedness always present itself as such? It’s a show that makes the audience think all while providing the comforting land of Oz as its backdrop. Winning three Tony Awards as well as a Grammy Award for its cast album, Wicked is a musical that the entire family will enjoy. For tickets, visit its official site.
The Lion King: September 14th
Joining Wicked and Hamilton in a September 14th reopening is the longest-running Disney show, The Lion King. Everyone knows and loves the music, characters, and feeling that comes with a Disney movie, and seeing one live on Broadway only amplifies those feelings.
With music by Elton John and Tim Rice, it’s a one-of-a-kind show with one-of-a-kind costumes. The Lion King won six Tony Awards when it opened in 1997 and its popularity hasn’t faltered. You can see The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre by getting tickets through their website.
Chicago: September 14th
Chicago is a revival of the original 1975 production. Because of the musical’s film adaptation in 2002, many people know the music, such as ‘All That Jazz’, ‘We Both Reached For The Gun’, and most famously, ‘Cell Block Tango’. Chicago is a newer classic that continues to wow audiences. It follows successful vaudevillian Velma Kelly, whose fame is fleeting as she ages, and chorus girl Roxie Hart, who dreams of being famous. They continue to seek fame throughout the show, but of course, things can’t always go the way they want.
As the longest-running revival on Broadway, Chicago is sure to turn heads and give the audience the ‘ole ‘Razzle Dazzle’. For tickets and more information, visit their website.
American Utopia: September 17th
Unlike many other shows on the list, American Utopia is perhaps the furthest one can be from the typical Broadway musical. Based on David Byrne’s 2018 solo album, American Utopia doesn’t have a distinct storyline, and David Byrne wanted it this way. When asked what the show is about, Byrne had only this to say, “What do I think this show is about? I won’t say—that’s like putting the nose on the clown—but I will say the title is not ironic.”
It’s obvious from the way he answers questions about the show that he wants people to experience it and think for themselves rather than look for a plot that may or may not be there. If this sounds like the Broadway experience for you, tickets are available here.
Come From Away: September 21st
Come From Away is based on the true story of Gander, a town in Newfoundland, Canada. During the 9/11 attacks, all air traffic was stopped and forced to land in the nearest airport. Gander used to have one of the world’s biggest airports, but it had nearly become deserted until thirty-eight international flights were instructed to land there.
It’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking, but the truth behind the music is so incredibly moving. With seven Tony nominations, Come From Away is an amazing show that everyone should see. Tickets are available on their website.
Moulin Rouge: September 24th
Based on the 2001 movie of the same name, Moulin Rouge tells the story of Christian and Satine, two star-crossed lovers at the turn of the 20th century. Moulin Rouge is a jukebox musical and includes all of the original songs and medleys from the movie, while adding in new music from the seventeen years since the film originally released.
When Moulin Rouge reopens, Aaron Tveit and Natalie Mendoza will lead the company. This show is an incredible choice for new audiences of Broadway because it has familiar music that makes it easier to stay invested. For tickets, visit Moulin Rouge’s site.
Aladdin: September 28th
Another Disney musical that will be reopening is Aladdin, which is a fan favorite much like The Lion King. With more music by Alan Menken, Aladdin follows a poor boy in Agrabah as he tries to prove he’s more than just a street rat. When he finds a lamp with a genie inside, everything begins to look up for him! His wish turns him into a prince, he falls in love, it’s everything you could want out of Disney!
With fan-favorite songs from the movie, Menken also wrote new songs for the stage version, including a solo for Princess Jasmine, another duet for Jasmine and Aladdin. Also, some songs that were cut from the film were restored in the stage adaptation after Howard Ashman’s death. To hear these new songs and see your favorite characters on stage, buy tickets at the official site.
To Kill a Mockingbird: October 5th
Premiering in 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird is an adaptation of Harper Lee’s acclaimed novel. Many people read the novel in High School and are familiar with the characters and plot, but even those who read the novel have raved about the stage adaptation. Unlike the novel, Atticus Finch, a lawyer in 1930’s Alabama, is the protagonist of the show rather than his daughter, Scout. There are definitely a few differences from the 1960’s novel, but it gives way to character development and different perspectives not seen in the source material.
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Jeff Daniels, original cast members, will be returning when To Kill a Mockingbird reopens. To see this classic story reimagined onstage at the Shubert Theatre, tickets are available here.
Freestyle Love Supreme: October 7th
Another work by Lin Manuel-Miranda is returning to Broadway in October. Freestyle Love Supreme mixes hip-hop, improv, and typical show tunes together to give the audience an immersive experience that’s never the same as the night before. What started out in rehearsal breaks during In The Heights, has since turned into a safe space for new artists working on new material.
Whether you’re an audience member or part of the cast, there’s always something new and exciting to do or see during Freestyle Love Supreme. To be a part of the experience, their website has tickets now on sale.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical: October 8th
Inspired by the legend herself, Tina tells the life story of Tina Turner. With iconic songs like ‘Proud Mary’, ‘River Deep-Mountain High’ and ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’, Tina dives into the sexism, racism, and ageism Tina Turner has and continues to face in the music industry. Even with all of the controversy Tina Turner faced, she managed to become the undisputed Queen of Rock n’ Roll.
Don’t take my word for it though; if you love Tina Turner, her music, or are simply interested in all she’s accomplished, go buy tickets to see the Tony nominated Adrienne Warren as Tina Turner.
Girl From the North Country: October 13th
Another jukebox musical is Girl From the North Country. This musical uses Bob Dylan’s discography to tell the story of the Laine family and the rundown guesthouse they run during The Great Depression. The guesthouse is the setting for Girl From the North Country as we see new guests come and go during their stays with the Laine family. Not only does it show the hardships of The Great Depression, but also how people can inspire others even in the darkest of times.
It’s a story that resonates with many in times we’re going through now, which makes it a perfect show to see when Broadway reopens.
Ain’t Too Proud: October 16th
Ain’t Too Proud follows the life of Rock and Roll hall of famers, The Temptations. It’s told through their discography and follows the band from their roots in Detroit, to their success with fourteen number one hits. In a time of civil unrest and political conflict, this musical proves just how strong friendship, brotherhood, and music can be.
Even if you’re not a fan of The Temptations, Ain’t Too Proud is an entertaining and heartwarming show with familiar songs for everyone. Tickets can be found on the official Ain’t Too Proud site.
Jagged Little Pill: October 21st
Set to Alanis Morissette’s album of the same name, Jagged Little Pill follows the Healy family as they struggle to make it in today’s world. Whether that be Frankie feeling out of place as an adopted black girl in a white family or her mother feeling like she’s not doing enough for her family, the musical brings up issues that are usually swept under the rug.
Along with the amazing rearrangement of Morissette’s songs, Jagged Little Pill does a great job at trying to end the stigma surrounding so many of its themes. To see the amazing cast in action, make sure to grab your tickets for opening night on October 21st.
The Phantom of the Opera: October 22nd
One of Broadway’s classics that will be reopening is The Phantom of the Opera, which holds the title for longest-running Broadway show. A show by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Broadway royalty, The Phantom of the Opera is show-stopping to say the least.
Whether you’re seeking romance, adventure, or mystery, all can be found in The Phantom of the Opera. Just follow Christine’s beautiful soprano voice (aka the website link) for tickets.
The Book of Mormon: November 5th
The Book of Mormon is a more recent musical, but it’s quickly turning into a comedic classic. While some may find it offensive, others will find the music and story surrounding Elder Price laughable. With nine Tony Awards to its name, The Book of Mormon solidified its value when it originally opened in 2011.
With a song called ‘Spooky Mormon Hell Dream’, it’s one of those shows that you should know what you’re getting into before you buy tickets. With rave reviews though, tickets are selling fast, so do some research and go to their site.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: November 16th
A successful play among Potterheads and new fans alike, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens back up on November 16th. This play is based on JK Rowling’s successful series of books and movies and has retained its high ticket sales since its opening. Following the children of the original series characters, it is a completely new story set in the Wizarding World.
For tickets, the official site to re-enter the magical world of Harry Potter is the place to be.
Dear Evan Hansen: December 11th
Dear Evan Hansen is another current fan favorite on Broadway, and will release a movie version of the Tony-Award winning musical in September. With Jordan Fisher leading the cast on stage, Dear Evan Hansen has the star power, the emotion, and the popularity that makes it one of Broadway’s most anticipated reopenings.
This show contains topics such as mental illness and suicide, which helps end the stigma surrounding it, but can also be triggering to those struggling. It’s a beautiful show, but just like with The Book of Mormon, I suggest doing research before buying tickets.