Broadway performances suspended for the rest of the year

Trade association representing theatre industry says return date is uncertain

New York /
Jun.June 30, 2020 09:00 AM
Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (Getty)

Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (Getty)

For theatre lovers waiting to get tickets to Broadway’s most in-demand shows, the wait just got even longer.

The Broadway League announced Monday that theatres will remain closed until at least the end of 2020, with some uncertainty over when shows will reopen. People who have tickets for performances up to January 3 will receive refunds, according to the New York Times.

“Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates in early 2021,” the League, a national trade association, said in a statement.

The news comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that gyms, malls and movie theaters would remain closed past the state’s fourth phase of reopening. New York City is currently in phase 2, which allows for outdoor dining and real estate services to resume.

Because of Covid-19, the industry is weighing how to implement “screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing, wayfinding inside theaters, backstage protocols and much more.”

Charlotte St. Martin, the League’s president, told the Times she was “cautiously optimistic” about protocols the industry was developing.

“As long as they hold up, I do think that after the first of the year, a rolling rollout of shows reopening is possible,” she said.

Broadway shows were halted on March 12, before the state shutdown was implemented on March 22.

Of the 31 shows that were running, the Disney musical, “Frozen,” Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” and the Martin McDonagh play, “Hangmen,” have all said they will not return to the stage after Broadway reopens.

The pandemic has frozen New York City’s travel industry, leading hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses to suffer. The loss of tourism alone could drain the city of $1.8 billion in tax revenue from hotels, according to a recent report. [NYT] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


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