When the heavy velvet curtains fell at the end of the Hamilton performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2020, it didn’t just signal the end of the show but rather the unexpected — and premature — end of the Broadway in Miami season.
It has been nearly a year since a traveling Broadway show was performed on the Arsht's stage.
That’s about to change.
The Arsht Center, along with Broadway Across America, announced this morning their Broadway in Miami 2021-22 season. The new season features classics, new cult favorites, and multi-Tony Award winners.
The season kicks off in September with Hadestown, followed by Hairspray in December, Dear Evan Hansen in February 2022, Anastasia in March 2022, and concluding with Jesus Christ Superstar in May 2022.
Arsht Center subscribers will recognize the musicals because this new season is nearly identical to the one that was canceled owing to COVID-19.
“Our partners have been able to basically retain the season that we expected [last year]," explains Johann Zietsman, president and CEO of the Arsht Center. “The fact that we can open our Broadway season after COVID with Hadestown for its South Florida premiere is just so exciting, and I know our audiences will love it.”
A handful of shows in the lineup will be new to Miami audiences, including Hadestown (which opens on September 28), Dear Evan Hansen, and Anastasia.
“When we closed down [last year], it was almost as if the Arsht Center lost its voice,” Zietsman says. “We exist to gather people physically in large numbers to enjoy and share great experiences — to suddenly not be able to do that was really like losing our purpose.”
Announcing this forthcoming Broadway Season feels to Zietsman as if “life is coming back to the Arsht.”
Zietsman recounts many late-night phone calls and meetings with partners, in particular the president of Broadway Across America, Susie Krajsa, in order to make the upcoming season happen.
Krajsa laughs as she recalls those numerous phone conversations.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be at this point where we’re announcing the new season,” she tells New Times. “A lot of people have worked really hard to make this a reality.”
When COVID-19 first forced theaters in New York City and across America to close their doors, Krajsa’s first thought was for the well-being of everyone in the industry.
“My number-one concern was the health and safety of everyone," she says. "That’s been forefront in all of our minds, so we immediately reached out to partners to make sure that we were doing [by canceling shows] what was right.”
“When we first closed in March, I don’t think anyone thought it was going to be for this long,” Zietsman notes. “I think we all thought it’d be a few months. We’ve all had to learn things we never thought of before, and that resiliency in this industry is just remarkable.”
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, the theater expects to welcome back a full house in the fall. Capacity will not be limited, but the Arsht Center has upgraded its air-filtration system, installed hand-sanitizer units throughout the venue, and will require facemasks to be worn at all times.
Says Krajsa: "To be able to come through this and be at a point where we can all be back in the theater and celebrating the arts will be something that’s going to be very special and very emotional. It’ll certainly be worth the wait.”
Broadway in Miami. September 2021 through June 2022, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-468-2326; arshtcenter.org. Season tickets for the five-show package cost $191 to $764.
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