New York City’s Broadway to remain dark through the rest of 2020

A man walks past Broadway show posters on Shubert Alley in Times Square after it was announced that Broadway shows will cancel performances due to the coronavirus outbreak in New York, U.S., March 12, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Broadway will remain closed for the rest of the year. 

On Monday, the Broadway League, a trade organization representing producers and theater owners, announced that performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

People holding tickets through Jan. 3, 2021 will be able to seek refunds or exchanges for those performances. 

The Great White Way has been closed since March 12, and it’s unclear when theaters will resume operations. Initially, the Broadway League had hoped shows would be able to resume in September.

So far three shows, Disney’s “Frozen,” a new Martin McDonagh play called “Hangman” and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” have announced that they will not resume performances once Broadway does reopen.

A number of shows are slated to hit the stage next spring. So far, the earliest date for a new play to debut on Broadway is March 15, for Tracy Lett’s  “The Minutes.”

A revival of “American Buffalo” by David Mamet is looking at an April 14 opening and “MJ the Musical,” a new show about Michael Jackson is aiming for April 15. Additionally, a revival of “Music Man” starring Hugh Jackman has plans to open May 20.

A revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite,” a new musical called “Flying over Sunset” and revivals of “1776” and “Caroline, or Change” are also planning to open next spring, but do not have set dates for debut.

The closing of Broadway for this prolonged period could be detrimental to New York City’s economy. In the week before theaters were shuttered due to Covid-19, ticket sales reached $26.7 million across musicals and plays, according to data from Broadway World. 

In the last year, Broadway generated more than $1.75 billion in ticket sales, 65% of which came from tourists. With so many travelers, it is estimated that during the 2018 to 2019 season, Broadway contributed $14.7 billion to the city’s economy. 

Originally published on CNBC

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