Updates on Theater Shutdowns and More

 

The following is a compilation of the most recent news articles via Broadway Briefing and other Entertainment outlets regarding COVID-19 and Theater and Event Shutdowns

 

Broadway producers vow that shows will play again” by Broadway News’ Gordon Cox, with additional reporting by Jeremy Gerard – “With the shutdown throwing a shadow of uncertainty over all of Broadway, the unprecedented hiatus has the potential to be particularly destabilizing for the season’s new and previewing productions — especially those that haven’t found their feet at the box office yet. In the face of that, however, many producers vowed their shows will return, most of them as soon as the stoppage lifted. And others remained confident that their shows could make it through the financial storm.

“We are complying with the governor’s decision to prioritize the safety of our community,” said Barbara Broccoli, the producer of the new musical “Sing Street,” which had been scheduled to begin previews March 26. “We look forward to starting performances when Broadway comes back and reopens their doors.”

Other producers followed suit, with previewing shows  from “The Minutes” to “Six” to “Company” to “Mrs. Doubtfire” to “Flying Over Sunset” all planning to welcome audiences back the week of April 13, assuming the shutdown ends as scheduled. Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Thursday that shutdowns may last for months at large venues across the city. …

Kevin McCollum, a co-producer on “Six” and lead on “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which began previews Monday, was confident both shows would survive. “We’re suspended for four weeks, and we’ll get through it,” McCollum said. …

Gabriella Palitz, a co-producer on “Ain’t Too Proud” and “Beetlejuice,” praised the actions of the League in shutting down the theaters amid health concerns. Still, the move has dealt “a real blow” to  the industry, she said, and may create an uncertain future for some. “’Ain’t Too Proud’ has returned 75% of its investment so I think there’s enough in reserve. But this is going to scare off investors on future shows,” Palitz said. “And shows on tour now, we just don’t know what will happen.” …

For now, though, many in the industry said the questions raised by the hiatus were still too fresh to have answers.” http://bway.ly/2gft6a

 

NEWS AND NOTES

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF SHUTDOWNS ON BROADWAY?: “The history of Broadway shutdowns” by Broadway News’ Gillian Russo – “The March 12 shutdown of Broadway due to the coronavirus outbreak marks Broadway’s first time going dark due to public health concerns. It is not, however, the first time Broadway is grappling with a shutdown. The Broadway League ordered one following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, largely due to transportation issues, said then-president Jed Bernstein.” http://bway.ly/ebb719

WHERE DO THE UNIONS STAND?: “Musicians’ union, Actors’ Equity call for government relief after Broadway shutdown” by Broadway News’ Caitlin Huston – “Both Local 802 and Krauthamer praised the actions of state officials in shutting down the theaters in order to keep their members safe. … But the worry for both unions is that a prolonged shutdown could affect members’ health care and benefits, in addition to affecting their livelihoods.” http://bway.ly/bxto7z

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH TICKETING?: 
— “Telecharge, Lincoln Center announce refund policies following Broadway shutdown” by Broadway News’ Gillian Russo – “Telecharge will issue automatic refunds for tickets purchased to shows between March 12 and April 12. … According to Telecharge, theater box offices will remain open during regular business hours for the duration of the shutdown. … Lincoln Center also announced in an email that tickets … will be automatically refunded from their point-of-purchase.” http://bway.ly/g2db5p
— “Ticketmaster Guidelines on Canceled and Rescheduled Events” by Ticketmaster – “Our Fan Support team is experiencing an extremely high volume of event modifications and fan inquiries at this time, so we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding.” http://bway.ly/afnp55
— “TodayTix to offer vouchers to customers with canceled tickets” by Broadway News’ Gillian Russo – “The vouchers will be worth 110% of each customer’s original order total and will be valid for one year. They will be distributed to consumers automatically via email within seven to 10 days.” http://bway.ly/65fy0w

HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED OFF-BROADWAY?:
— “COVID-19 Pandemic Prompts Cancellation of Many Off-Broadway Shows”
 by Broadway.comhttp://bway.ly/uco3a8
— “New York City Center Cancels Encores! Love Life, More in Wake of Mass Gathering Ban” by Playbill’s Ryan McPhee: http://bway.ly/zbfj0l
— “Romeo & Bernadette Transfer to Off-Broadway’s Theatre Row Postponed” by Playbill’s Andrew Gans: http://bway.ly/vq8ogr
— “The Public Theater Suspends Events Through April 12” by BroadwayWorld: http://bway.ly/8whwes
— “Tumacho Starring Philippa Soo and More to Play Final Performance Tonight; Future Dates Canceled” by BroadwayWorld: http://bway.ly/zaplrv
— “New York Theatre Workshop Suspends All Performances for 31 Days” by BroadwayWorld: http://bway.ly/6v5hvh
— “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand To Play at 50% Capacity Due to Covid-19” by BroadwayWorld: http://bway.ly/p7mkro

LOOKING AHEAD:
“The show will go on: How Broadway will survive coronavirus” 
by New York Post’s Michael Riedel – “Whether some of its new shows will survive remains to be seen. A few shows in previews don’t have enough cash reserves to see them through this storm. Tracy Letts’ new play “The Minutes,” … was rumored to be in trouble. But a spokesman insists: “‘The Minutes’ will reopen on April 13.” Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen,” … was also in previews and could find itself in trouble. … There were rumors that Broadway’s longest running show — “The Phantom of the Opera” — may have to close down for good. … But Andrew Lloyd Webber tells me that he has no intention of closing it.” http://bway.ly/sxzqpw

“Broadway Community Braces For Fallout After Coronavirus Shutdown” by Forbes’ Lee Seymour – ““The road to the Tony Awards now has very different pavement,” said one press representative, who asked not to be named as conversations throughout the industry were ongoing. “No one really knows what it looks like yet.” One thing is almost certain: The fallout will be devastating. Broadway supports over 87,000 jobs and draws millions of attendees per year.” http://bway.ly/2fkzdc

 

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