Cuomo unveils Broadway reopening plan


Dennis Beck Broadway Tour | Flickr |

Rachel Dalloo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his initiative to bring back New York City’s entertainment industry with pop-up performances called “New York PopsUp” during a press conference on Feb. 8.

Broadway theaters have been closed since March 2020, and multiple shows were suspended. Thus, Cuomo’s initiative aimed to help “promote theater and music across the state,” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Forbes.

New York State’s announcement comes after the news that the state will be easing its restrictions on public places, which includes reopening movie theaters in New York City and amusement parks and large locations, like arenas and stadiums.

“New York PopsUp” is New York’s first step toward safely reopening its entertainment industry to the general public.

The festival, which is serving as Broadway’s “pilot program,” began on Feb. 20 and will support more than 300 performances over 100 days. The performances are free to watch.

At the time, Cuomo didn’t disclose the locations for where these events will be taking place, in order to avoid mass gatherings ahead of time, according to CNBC.

“Creative synergies are vital for cities to survive, and our arts and cultural industries have been shut down all across the country, taking a terrible toll on workers and the economy,” Cuomo said.

“We want to be aggressive with reopening the State and getting our economy back on track, and New York PopsUp will be an important bridge to the broader reopening of our world-class performance venues and institutions. New York has been a leader throughout this entire pandemic, and we will lead once again with bringing back the arts,” he added.

While many COVID-19 restrictions are lifted around New York regarding the reopening of movie theaters and return to indoor dining, “New York PopUps” will be paving the way for Broadway’s “eventual full return” throughout the state.

“In just two weeks New York PopsUp has become the engine that drives the safe re-opening of the arts throughout our state,” Hollywood producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful bonus to the opportunity to present 300 shows in 100 days, and to the enormous satisfaction in bringing artists back to work here. It’s incredibly exciting to see what the arts community and the state can do, together, when we all row in the same direction.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City would be launching an additional program called “Curtains Up NYC,” in an effort to show support to the entertainment institutions, by offering free assistance to New York City businesses and non-profit organizations that are connected in some form to the live performances.

“We have to make sure that New York City cultural institutions get the help that they need,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Cuomo has not provided a full timeline for when Broadway will be making a full return but did make advances towards signs of showing hope that the state could bring back Broadway shows, with restrictions to ensure the safety of the public.

“Would I go see a play and sit in a playhouse with 150 people? If the 150 people were tested, and they were all negative, yes, I would do that,” Cuomo said. “I think reopening with testing is going to be the key.”