Broadway extends shutdown to May 30 amid coronavirus pandemic
Broadway's shutdown is being extended amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, The Broadway League announced in a press release that it would continue the suspension of all ticket sales for Broadway performances in New York City through May 30, 2021.
“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which represents producers, stated in the release. "We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again."
Dates for each returning and new Broadway show to resume are yet to be announced, but ticket holders for dates through May 30 are advised to "contact their point of purchase for details about exchanges and refunds."
Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, knocking out all shows — including 16 that were still scheduled to open — and scrambling the Tony Award schedule. Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7, then again to Sept. 6 and again to Jan. 3.
The new timeframe may complicate a clutch of show that had planned to open in the spring, including “MJ,” “The Music Man,” “Flying Over Sunset,” “Caroline or Change,” “Plaza Suite,” “American Buffalo” and “The Minutes.”
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Actors’ Equity Association, the national union that represents actors and stage managers, has urged lawmakers to include arts funding and loans to help those who work in the live performing arts.
The move by the Broadway League comes less than a month after the Metropolitan Opera said it will skip an entire season for the first time in its nearly 140-year history and intends to return from the pandemic layoff next September.
In London, producer Cameron Mackintosh has said his company’s West End productions of “Hamilton,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Mary Poppins” and “Les Miserables” won’t reopen until 2021 due to the pandemic. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., has canceled most previously announced performances and events through the end of 2020, as has the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston.
Broadway grossed $1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people. Producers and labor unions are discussing ways theaters can reopen safely.
Contributing: The Associated Press