New York – Broadway fans will have to wait a little longer for the shows to resume – at least until the end of May.
Although the exact dates for the resumption of various performances have not yet been determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through May 30th.
"We're working tirelessly with multiple partners to keep the industry going as soon as we open our curtains," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, who represents producers.
Broadway theaters closed abruptly on March 12, shutting down all shows – including 16 that were yet to open – and messing up the Tony Awards schedule. Citing health and city authorities, producers previously extended the closure to June 7th, then again to September 6th and again to January 3rd.
The new timeframe could complicate a number of shows that should open this spring, including "MJ", "The Music Man", "Flying Over Sunset", "Caroline or Change", "Plaza Suite", "American Buffalo". and "The Minutes".
The Actors' Equity Association, the national union that represents actors and stage managers, has urged lawmakers to raise arts funding and loans to help those who work in the live performing arts.
The Broadway League switch 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 plans to return from the pandemic layoff 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 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 of its previously announced performances and events through the end of 2020, as has the Huntington Theater Company in Boston.
Broadway had sales of $ 1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people. Producers and unions are discussing how theaters can safely reopen.