On March 12, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League that Broadway would be shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown was originally set to last a month, but Broadway is still currently closed.
At the time, Cuomo made the following statement, which was reported by Broadway.com:
“We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state,” said Cuomo. “Starting Friday at 5PM, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS. Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%. For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5PM today. We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.”
While Broadway has been shuttered for more than a year, the increased rate of COVID-19 vaccinations and the decrease in cases means that the curtains can once again go up in the iconic location.
Today it was announced that not one, but two Disney plays would be returning to Broadway when the theater area reopens this September! The Lion King will return to the stage on September 14 at Broadway’s Minksoff Theatre. Aladdin will return to the New Amsterdam Theatre two weeks later, on September 28.
To celebrate the return of these two beloved shows to Broadway, Disney is offering Guests many perks should they decide to see Aladdin and The Lion King. The Walt Disney Company shared that it would be offering the following:
- Disney will pay 100 percent of Ticketmaster service and order fees for guests, who will pay only the ticket face value for performances through August 7, 2022.
- Guests will have the freedom to exchange or even cancel tickets at no charge up to and including the day of performance.
- Disney is also introducing Double the Magic, a two-show package that offers the greatest savings with tickets for both shows starting at $149 total.
Both The Lion King and Aladdin have been huge successes for Disney on Broadway. The Lion King premiered on Broadway in 1997 and has won numerous Tony awards, including Best Choreography, Best Costume Design, and Best Musical.
Aladdin did not make its Broadway premiere until 2011 and has since been nominated for a number of Tony awards. In 2014, James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the blue, wish-granting Genie, won the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.
Also coming back to Broadway is a show that has become a favorite of Disney fans everywhere, Hamilton. Disney does not outright own Hamilton, but it bought the rights to the film version to launch on Disney+. The filmed play was originally set to premiere on Disney+ in October 2020, but the release date was moved up and Hamilton was released on Disney+ on July 3, 2020.
Even though Broadway is coming back and some Disney favorites are returning to the stage, one Disney favorite will not be returning.
In May 2020, Disney Theatrical Productions announced that Frozen was closing its curtains for good and would not return, even when Broadway opened back up.
In a New York Times article, it was reported:
“Frozen” had been the weakest of the three Disney musicals that had been running on Broadway — the others were “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” — and the company made it clear that it does not believe audiences will return in substantial enough numbers to sustain all of those shows.
“This difficult decision was made for several reasons but primarily because we believe that three Disney productions will be one too many titles to run successfully in Broadway’s new landscape,” Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a letter to his staff.
Tickets for both The Lion King and Aladdin are on sale now. Act quickly to get yours before they sell out!
Will you be seeing Aladdin and The Lion King when they make their Broadway return? Let us know in the comments!