During this pandemic, we have all succumbed to binge-watching our favorite shows at home, but there’s nothing quite like a live show, and New York and Las Vegas know it. As more and more people get vaccinated throughout the country, restrictions on live shows and caps on venue capacities are being lifted, allowing for Broadway and Vegas to get back to providing much sought-after entertainment.
The closure of Broadway productions began in March 2020 and was extended in June of the same year until 2021. On May 3, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the reopening of Broadway beginning May 19. Still, due to the needs of production and rehearsals, you shouldn’t expect the return of your favorite shows, and perhaps some new ones, until September.
Venues are expected to open following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask and social distancing guidelines but could get around this by demanding documentation of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results upon entry. The reopening will include theaters, gyms, museums, restaurants, bars, amusement parks, and shops. New York City is expected to completely reopen July 1, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength, ” he said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“This is the moment we have all been waiting for,” Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said in a press release.
After announcing in November 2020 that Cirque’s “Zumanity” production would permanently close due to the pandemic, two of its shows are expected to return this summer at full capacity. “Mystere” will reopen at Treasure Island on June 28 with around 1,800 seats, and “O” will reopen at the Bellagio on July 1 with 1,600 seats.
Other shows expected to return soon include the Blue Man Group at the Luxor Hotel on June 24; “The Beatles Love” at the Mirage sometime in July; “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay in late August; and “KA” to the MGM Grand in September or October, Lamarre told the Las Vegas Sun.
Gaming floors at some casinos are also getting rid of some of their COVID-19 precautions. While gaming floors are currently permitted to operate at 80 percent capacity by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Wynn and Encore are expected to soon open at 100 percent capacity and will remove plexiglass dividers.
“Wynn Resorts announced today that, as of May 1, 2021, 88 percent of its Wynn Las Vegas employees have been vaccinated,” a spokesperson said. “As a result…the gaming areas at both Wynn and Encore will be permitted to run at 100% occupancy, and plexiglass dividers will be removed from all table games and slot machines. Our employees and guests will continue to follow health and safety guidelines, including mask compliance, to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all.”