Broadway theaters extend coronavirus shutdown through Labor Day
Fans of New York theater are surely eager for the day when they can finally return to Broadway, but they'll have to wait a while longer. The Broadway League, a trade organization that represents Broadway producers and theater owners, announced Tuesday that they will now be accepting refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased to shows through Sept. 6.
“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 theatre – behind the curtain and in front of it – before shows can return. 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,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said in a statement. “Throughout this challenging time, we have been in close communication with Governor 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.”
Broadway theaters were first shut down on March 12, back in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. At that point, performances were optimistically predicted to resume on April 13. On April 5, the Broadway League extended the shutdown through June 7. Now it's been pushed until September. The possibility of another extension remains unclear, but what is clear is that Broadway will officially be shut down all summer.
On the bright side, Disney announced Tuesday that it's fast-tracking the filmed Hamilton performance for a July launch on Disney+. Maybe that will be capable of partially assuaging theater fans in the same way that ESPN's The Last Dance documentary is currently filling the void left by canceled professional sports.
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