NEW YORK (AP) – Broadway fans will have to wait a little longer for the shows to resume – until at least the end of May.
While an exact date for resumption of several performances has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges on tickets purchased for shows through May 30.
“We work tirelessly with multiple partners to keep the industry going once we open our curtains again,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, representing producers.
Broadway theaters closed on March 12, shutting down all shows – including 16 still scheduled to open – and mixing up the Tony Award schedule. Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7, then again to September 6, and again to January 3.
The new timeframe could complicate a string of shows scheduled to open in the spring, including ‘MJ’, ‘The Music Man’, ‘Flying Over Sunset’, ‘Caroline or Change’, ‘Plaza Suite’, ‘American Buffalo’ and “The Minutes.”
Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing actors and stage managers, has urged lawmakers to take up art funding and loans to help those who work in the live performing arts.
The Broadway League move 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 plans to return from the pandemic dismissal in September.
In London, producer Cameron Mackintosh has said his troupe’s West End productions of “Hamilton”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Mary Poppins” and “Les Miserables” will not reopen until 2021 due to the pandemic. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, has canceled most previously announced performances and events through the end of 2020, as has the Huntington Theater Company in Boston.
Broadway grossed $ 1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people. Producers and unions are discussing ways theaters can reopen safely.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits