The bright lights of Broadway will temporarily go dark, as theatres across New York City take precautionary measures against COVID-19.
In an announcement made by Governor, Andrew Cuomo. and President of the Broadway League, Charlotte St. Martin, all Broadway performances have been cancelled until 12 April 2020, reopening the following week.
“We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the State,” said Cuomo. “Starting Friday at 5:00 PM, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS. Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%.”
“For Broadway theatres in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5:00 PM today. We have already spoken to the theatres about these new measures and they agreed,” Cuomo finalised.
For musical theatre fans, the news of the shutdown halts opening nights of new Broadway musicals, like ‘Six’. Other shows, which were expected to celebrate their official openings in the monthlong closure, include ‘The Minutes’, ‘Hangmen’, ‘Company’, ‘The Lehman Trilogy’, ‘Diana’, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’, and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’.
The new musical ‘Flying Over Sunset’ was expected to commence previews, however, new rescheduled debut dates are unknown.
This also affects revivals of ‘Caroline, or Change’ and Sarah Jessica Parker’s and Matthew Broderick’s, ‘Plaza Suite’, which were to have begun previews Friday, 13 March 2020. ‘A Soldier’s Play’ and ‘The Inheritance’ were scheduled to play their final performances on Sunday, 15 March 2020.
While the move has disappointed theatregoers, St. Martin assured the shutdown puts the health and well-being of patrons as a priority.
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers and many other dedicated professionals,” said St. Martin.
“Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night.”
Customers are encouraged to contact the company’s whom they bought their tickets with for information on refunds or exchanges.