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Curtains up: TPG's guide to Broadway's fall reopening

Aug. 28, 2021
7 min read
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Over the past year, I watched enough Zoom theater to make me question the three-dimensionality of the world. To say the least, I'm glad that things are getting to be back in person, especially when it comes to the theater -- and I know I'm not alone.

Back in March, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a potential safe reopening plan for Broadway. In mid-June, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York's lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Broadway's reopening went from a possibility to a plan.

After receiving the state’s final approval of each theater operator’s health and safety protocols, reassembling cast and crews and planning new show dates, Broadway is almost ready for the curtain to come up in early September.

Note that all indoor activities in New York City require proof of vaccination.

Read more for TPG's guide to the first shows to reopen this fall.

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Hadestown

The cast of "Hadestown" accepts the grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album on Jan. 26, 2020. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Location: Walter Kerr Theatre

Reopening date: Sept. 2, 2021

If you're itching for a Greek myth mixed with a New Orleans jazz and blues theme, this enchanting musical story by Anaïs Mitchell is the one for you. I have listened to the soundtrack on repeat, and honestly, I'm not sure if my brain could handle both the music and the visual performance. Get tickets here.

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Pass Over

Location: August Wilson Theatre

Opening date: Sept. 12, 2021

This play, written by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu, debuts on Broadway this August, but it was also adapted as an Amazon Prime film by Spike Lee in 2018. According to the show's official site, this story of "heartbreak, hope, and joy" is only in New York City for nine weeks, so get your tickets fast. Get tickets here.

Wicked

The musical "Wicked" is among those coming back to Broadway this fall. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Location: George Gershwin Theatre

Reopening date: Sept. 14, 2021

This play is a true Broadway classic. If you're familiar with The Wizard of Oz (who isn't?), then this one is perfect for getting you acquainted with the witches of Oz. This show is great for the whole family and will leave you spellbound. Get tickets here.

Related: Best Broadway and Off-Broadway shows in NYC for kids

The Lion King

Location: Minskoff Theatre

Reopening date: Sept. 14, 2021

A Disney classic turned into a renowned Broadway play, The Lion King wows with its stunning costumes and puppetry. The third-longest-running Broadway show in the world, with a lifetime international audience totaled at more than 100 million, is a must-see for the entire family. Get tickets here.

Hamilton

A sign that reads "September 14" is seen outside "Hamilton" at Richard Rodgers Theatre in Times Square on May 12, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Location: Richard Rodgers Theatre

Reopening date: Sept. 14, 2021

Ah, Hamilton -- the Broadway smash hit written by the multi hyphenate Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail. As a soon-to-be Wesleyan alum myself, I can't believe that I've never seen this musical before. In the meantime, you can watch the filmed version on Disney+ before the season reopens. Get tickets here.

Freestyle Love Supreme, also written by Miranda and directed by Kail, starts previews on Oct. 7, 2021, and officially opens for the first time on October 19.

Chicago

Location: Ambassador Theatre

Reopening date: Sept. 14, 2021

This was the first Broadway show I ever saw. The seductive story of scandal and redemption is the second longest-running show on Broadway (Phantom of the Opera edged it out of first place). Perfect for a date night on the town or for first-time theatergoers. Get tickets here.

Other tips

Make it a full evening with a meal. Take advantage of New York's reopening by treating yourself to some of New York's best restaurants before you see your show. My personal favorite food and theater all-in-one location is Ellen's Stardust Diner. Although they are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, bookmark this restaurant if you want a classic American meal accompanied by live musical performances of Broadway show tunes sung by the waitstaff!

Preview show dates. Shows will have preview show dates available to the public. These early performances allow the directors and crew to test and adjust their shows before their official opening dates. All dates listed above are official reopening dates only.

Don't wait to buy tickets. Broadway's re-awakening in September is causing major waves of anticipation that are sure to increase in the months to come, but ticket prices don't come cheap.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

To get the biggest bang for your buck -- and to rack up points and miles -- be sure and pay for your Broadway evening with a card. The American Express® Gold Card, with an annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees), offers 4x points for dining at restaurants, including eateries around Broadway. The no-annual-fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card will net you 3% cash back for dining and your theater tickets.

If you want to look at third-party sites for deals, The Points Guy himself recommended "saving money by purchasing tickets on the day of the show via NYC’s TKTS booths (or by joining TDF, the parent company for TKTS) can save you way more than the value of miles and points earned through Audience Rewards, but if you really want to plan ahead and see a show then hoping for the tickets to be discounted is a risky proposition. You can go to a discount page such as BroadwayBox, but it’s not always going to be your best or easiest option."

For shows such as Hamilton, September performances are already sold out. You’ll have to look into October for the earliest dates. Even then, most leftover available tickets are weekday shows and a few weekend matinees.

Related: Use these cards to maximize your entertainment spending in 2021

The fine print

Refunds and exchanges: Most venues offer flexible exchanges and refunds if tickets are bought through official sites such as Ticketmaster, Seatgeek or Telecharge. Be sure and check each show's official website for refund and exchange policies.

COVID-19 guidelines to keep in mind: Safety protocols of each theater must be in line with Gov. Cuomo's statement, which are aligned with the guidance of New York City, the state, and official CDC guidelines. For individual health and safety protocols, check the official sites of each show.

Bottom line

Personally, I can't wait to see my favorite entertainment with all the live-action and music. While many of Broadway's big shows are set to open early to mid-September, shows opening later in the month include "Moulin Rouge" on Sept. 24 and "Lackawanna Blues," which debuts on Sept. 28. Other shows, such as "Phantom of the Opera" and "Jagged Little Pill," will resume performances in October or later. For the full list of Broadway shows opening in the fall, check here.

For more information on Broadway's latest news, be sure to follow Broadway's official Instagram and Twitter.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

Featured image by Corbis via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees