Broadway shutdown due to virus extended again until May 30

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NEW YORK – Broadway fans will have to wait a little longer for shows to resume – at least until the end of May.

While the exact date for the resumption of the various shows has not yet been determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for the shows through May 30.

“We are working tirelessly with multiple partners to support the industry once we raise the curtains again,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which represents the producers.

The latest delay was approved by the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents 51,000 theater actors and managers.

“Today the Broadway League has made the difficult but responsible decision to put the safety and health of its workers and its public first. It is a deeply painful time for all who depend on the arts for their livelihood, ”said Mary McColl, Executive Director of the Actors’ Equity Association.

“We are right now because, seven months after the start of the pandemic, our country still does not have a cohesive national strategy for masks and tests that could help bring the virus under control.

Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, eliminating all shows – including 16 that were still scheduled to open – and blurring the Tony Awards schedule, with this year’s nominations slated for October 15. Producers, citing health and city officials, previously extended the shutdown until June 7, then again to September 6 and again to January 3.

The new schedule could complicate a series of shows that were slated to open in the spring, including “The Music Man,” “Flying Over Sunset,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Plaza Suite,” “American Buffalo,” and “The Minutes. Hours after the announcement, the Michael Jackson-based musical called “MJ” postponed its performances to September.

The Broadway League decision comes less than a month after the Metropolitan Opera announced it would skip an entire season for the first time in its nearly 140-year history and intended to return from the layoff pandemic next September.

In London, producer Cameron Mackintosh said his company’s West End productions of “Hamilton,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Mary Poppins” and “Les Misérables” 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 shows and events until the end of 2020, as has the Huntington Theater Company in Boston.

Broadway grossed $ 1.8 billion last season and drew a record 15 million people. Producers and unions are discussing how theaters can safely reopen.

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