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MIDTOWN MANHATTAN — Four of the most iconic Broadway shows are making their big return to the stage Tuesday, 18 months after the Great White Way went dark at the start of the COVID pandemic.

The reopening is a win for theater fans and the nearly 97,000 local jobs the industry supports.

“Chicago,” “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked” are all lighting up theaters across the theater district Tuesday night.

All 41 Broadway theaters are now allowed to reopen at full capacity, with precautions and safety protocols in place.

Everyone in the theater, including the performers and theater staff, must be fully vaccinated. Audience members must also mask up, regardless of vaccination status.

Prior to the pandemic, nearly 250,000 people saw a Broadway show every week in New York, supporting the thousands of jobs and bringing nearly $15 billion into New York’s economy each year.

If you want to snag last minute tickets, Broadway’s TKTS discount ticket booth in Times Square reopens Tuesday at 3 p.m.

The Broadway League is also doing something extra special to celebrate the return. Their “This is Brodway” campaign will include a short film and a contest that will award one lucky fan four tickets to every Broadway show in the 2021-2022 season.

The contest runs until Oct. 15 and you can enter over at

To celebrate the reopening, a three day live theater festival called “Curtain Up” is coming to Times Square this Friday through Sunday. The spectacle features live performances and interactive experiences as a sweet tase of what we’ve missed so much.

Later Tuesday morning, the cast of “The Lion King” will be join MTA employees at the Times Square-42nd Street subway station to encourage people to take mass transit to see a show.