Broadway theaters will remain closed until at least the fall, likely longer due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that New York’s iconic theater district went dark on March 12 and has remained shuttered ever since. Several productions have closed permanently, and another 10 incoming productions remain on standby pending a reopening date. Two shows in previews–including the anticipated revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Rupert Everett and Laurie Metcalf, will never open to the actual public.
“While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theater — behind the curtain and in front of it — before shows can return,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said Tuesday in a statement. “The Broadway League’s membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, government officials and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry. Throughout this challenging time, we have been in close communication with Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s office and are grateful for his support and leadership as we work together to bring back this vital part of New York City’s economy — and spirit.”
The news that Broadway venues will remain closed echoes similar news out of London last week. Entertainment arenas–including the city’s West End theatrical district–will remain closed through at least next month. At the moment, New York’s theater owners are experimenting with smaller audience plans to allow for social distancing, however Broadway insiders express skepticism that said seating plans could ever work given the exorbitant costs of producing shows.