Broadway closes again, at least until early January.
Although an exact date for performances to resume has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds for tickets purchased for shows through January 3.
“The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal,” said Thomas Schumacher, chairman of the board of directors for The Broadway League, which represents the producers.
“The alchemy of 1,000 strangers gathered in one room feeding each artist on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theaters can be safely filled,” he added. “The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our priority and we look forward to taking up our stages once it is safe to do so.”
Broadway theaters closed abruptly on March 12, canceling all shows – including 16 that were due for release – and indefinitely postponing the Tony Awards ceremony. The producers, citing health and municipal authorities, previously extended the closure to June 7 and then to September 6.
In London, producer Cameron Mackintosh has said his company’s West End productions of “Hamilton”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Mary Poppins” and “Les Misérables” (“Les Misérables”) will not reopen until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington has canceled most of the previously announced functions and events for the remainder of the year, as has the Huntington Theater Company in Boston.
Broadway raised $ 1.8 billion last season and drew a record 15 million people. Producers and unions are studying how the theaters could be safely reopened.
The new extension affects many shows planned for the end of the year. Many were postponed until 2021, including a rerun of “The Music Man” with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster who was due to begin rehearsals on June 29, but will now open in May 2021.
Works to be released in the spring have abandoned their plans, including “Hangmen” and a rerun of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) By Edward Albee. Productions of Tracy Letts’ “The Minutes” and David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” will hit Broadway in the spring of 2021, exactly one year after originally planned.