Broadway will remain closed until at least early January, with many shows signalling they do not anticipate a return to the stage until late winter or even early spring next year.
The Broadway League, which represents producers in the theatre industry, said Monday that refunds and exchanges will now be issued for tickets previously purchased for shows through January 3.
With no end to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in sight, the league said it was not yet ready to provide a specific date for exactly when shows will reopen in the iconic Manhattan theatre district.
‘The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal,’ said Thomas Schumacher, chairman of the board of The Broadway League, which represents producers.
‘The alchemy of 1,000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses,’ he added. ‘The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it’s safe to do so.’
Although an exact date for performances to resume has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through January 3
Indoor Dining May Not Go Ahead When NYC Enters Phase 3 of Reopening
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that indoor dining may not be included in phase 3 of reopening the Big Apple.
The announcement comes after California, Texas and Florida saw massive spikes in coronavirus cases in bars and restaurants.
De Blasio said that a ‘number of cities and states have unfortunately been moving in the wrong direction’, in reference to the surge.
The number of US infections have increased to nearly 40,000 for the fourth day in a row, bringing the total number of cases to more than 2.5 million.
‘We all love indoor dining, but we also see problems related with indoor dining,’ he said during a press conference before pointing to a recent incident in an East Lansing, Michigan, restaurant where 85 patrons tested positive for the coronavirus.
‘California had made great progress; they’re now unfortunately slipping back and they are changing the rules regarding bars and restaurants,’ de Blasio said.
‘So we’re paying attention to this lesson,’ he said, adding that due to increasing concern, city officials will ‘reexamine the indoor dining rules for Phase 3’.
Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, amassing losses of a predicted $35 million every week since.
At the time, there were 31 shows running, including eight still in previews; another eight were in rehearsals before beginning previews.
Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7 and then again to September 6.
‘Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates in early 2021,’ the League said in a statement, adding they’re currently in discussion with medical officials regarding a series of logistical issues, including: ‘screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing, wayfinding inside theaters, backstage protocols and much more.’
President of the League, Charlotte St. Martin, told the Daily Beast that though she ‘doesn’t have a crystal ball’ she remains optimistic that shows will reopen in January 2021.
For St. Martin, any post-pandemic reopening of Broadway means safety protocols will have to be put into place to ensure audience members can still set next to each other as they did before.
‘We know that we cannot socially distance within theaters with the present financial models we have,’ she told the outlet, saying that audience members will likely have to wear masks during the first reopening phase.
St. Martin revealed that the most ‘cautiously optimistic’ members of the Broadway League believe theatres could reopen before the end of the year, while some believe the show won’t go on ‘until spring 2021.’
‘I actually am a little more optimistic than those who say Broadway will reopen in the spring, but I tend to be an optimistic person,’ St. Martin said. ‘I tend to think it will be after the first of the year, in January, just because of the massive number of people who come to New York City around the holidays.’
Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, amassing losses of a predicted $35 million every week since
At the time, there were 31 shows running, including eight still in previews; another eight were in rehearsals before beginning previews
Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7 and then again to September 6
St. Martin said she thinks the idea of that Broadway could reopen before Christmas is a little farfetch’d, saying officials wouldn’t have enough time to prepare themselves for holiday season crowds.
‘You can barely walk through a theater door in November or December. If Broadway was open and tourism was back, we’d be testing social distancing pretty heavily and dramatically, and we have so many phases to get through before then,’ she told the Daily Beast.
‘We are at the mercy of statistics and medical information the government delivers every day,’ she said.
In the last 10 weeks, according to St. Martin, Broadway has been losing an average of $35 million per week. Should the shutdown continue as predicted, Broadway would have lost around $1.5 billion by January and nearly $2 billion if it continues into the spring.
‘I’m not an economist,’ St, Martin said when asked how long Broadway could endure the crippling losses, but said she’s heard from producers who ‘still believe in their product, that they can come back and do well.’
When it does eventually return, she says Broadway will not recover financially for at least a few years.
‘If I use my common sense I would say Broadway will be back, but not as strong as it was when it closed,’ she said. ‘It may take a couple of years to get back to strong attendance and profitability. And I may be wrong. It may take four years, but I have no doubt we will be back.’
President of the League, Charlotte St. Martin, told the Daily Beast that though she ‘doesn’t have a crystal ball’ she remains optimistic that shows will reopen in January 2021
So far three shows, the Disney musical Frozen, which had opened in 2018, a new Martin McDonagh play called Hangmen, and a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, both of which were in previews, have announced that they will not resume performances when Broadway reopens
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 coronavirus 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.
The latest extension wipes away many shows planned for the fall. Many have just moved to next year, including a revival of The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster that was to start rehearsals on June 29 BUT will now open in May 2021.
So far three shows, the Disney musical Frozen, which had opened in 2018, a new Martin McDonagh play called Hangmen, and a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, both of which were in previews, have announced that they will not resume performances when Broadway reopens.
A production of The Minutes by Tracy Letts and American Buffalo by David Mamet will arrive on Broadway in Spring 2021, opening exactly one year after their originally scheduled opening dates.