The lights of Broadway will remain dark until at least May 30, the Broadway League announced last Friday. The news delays the previously anticipated reopen date by an additional five months.
“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to reopening as soon as conditions permit us to do so,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement. “We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.”
Exact dates for individual productions will be revealed as the shows set future plans. Though not stated in the official announcement, St. Martin told The New York Times “people’s bets are the fall of next year” for shows to begin opening their stage doors.
The industry shuttered March 12 amid growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis. At the time, 31 productions were running, with eight shows in previews and eight others rehearsing for a spring debut.
Since Broadway’s announcement, the New York Philharmonic canceled the rest of its season, pushing back all performances through June. The news marks another change in a cultural calendar that continues to grow thinner as large performing arts institutions — such as the Metropolitan Opera, which will remain closed until September — delay reopening.
Hoping to fill part of the void, several open-plan venues in New York City are urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to allow performances to take place within their roomy (and adaptable) spaces, The New York Times reported in a separate article Monday. The coalition includes Park Avenue Armory, the Shed, St. Ann’s Warehouse, BRIC, Harlem Stage, National Black Theater and Perelman Center.
The request will be handled by the New York Forward advisory board, which has been tasked with helping to “guide the state’s reopening strategy.”
In the meantime, theater lovers with cars can treat themselves to “Broadway at the Drive-In,” which opened its gates in September. Performers will also take to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum for socially distanced shows throughout October.
Top Image: TKTS booth in New York City. Photo: Kevin Harber.