UPDATE, with Cuomo response New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said today that he expects the city to be back “full strength” from the yearlong Covid shutdown in July – not including Broadway.
“Broadway takes time because they have to mount full productions,” de Blasio said today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I’d say you should expect Broadway full strength in September, but I’d love to see some of the smaller shows up in July and August.”
Watch the Morning Joe segment below.
The mayor didn’t elaborate on what he meant by “smaller shows,” but he was presumably referring to non-Broadway live events.
De Blasio said he expects the July reopening will include New York City’s stores, restaurants, gyms and arenas, among other venues. City schools, he said, would be back to full capacity in September.
The mayor’s announcement – more details are expected from his office later today – isn’t the final word: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the ultimate say on when venues will reopen. Cuomo recently ok’d outdoor dining venues to resume pre-pandemic hours starting May 17, with indoor spaces able to do so beginning May 31, a move the city’s restaurant industry has greeted as too little, too late. Spectator arenas, according to Cuomo, can increase capacity to 33% from 20% beginning May 19, office capacity can jump to 75% from 50% starting May 15.
Cuomo, who gave the order in March 2020 to shut down Broadway and other large gatherings, has not announced a Broadway reopening date, though the industry is generally expecting a September return for at least some productions.
At a press conference today following the mayor’s surprise Morning Joe announcement, Cuomo dismissed de Blasio’s July 1 plan and called such projections “irresponsible.”
“I want it opened up on Monday,” the governor said, seeming to mock his political nemesis de Blasio. “I want to open up New York City Tuesday. I want it open on Wednesday. I want Buffalo fully opened up on Thursday.” Cuomo added that he hoped New York could open even before July, but that the “statewide management system” is determined “by the science, by the data.”
The Broadway League has repeatedly indicated that a Fall reopening is the goal, though details of the process and protocols have not been announced.
Watch de Blasio’s visit with Morning Joe below. The discussion of Broadway comes around the 8:32 mark: