Broadway upheld a time-honored tradition despite a bomb scare that shut down Times Square on the most popular night of the week: The shows went on.
"There were no evacuations from Broadway theaters," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said Sunday, adding that "all Broadway matinee and evening shows will go on as scheduled today."
The area was shut down Saturday night after authorities found a bomb that apparently began to detonate — but did not explode — in a smoking sport utility vehicle parked on West 45th Street during the busy time between matinee and evening performances.
West 45th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues is Broadway's Gold Coast, home to such hit shows as "The Lion King" and "Billy Elliot." It is a prime block of theatrical real estate with six theaters facing the street and two more in skyscrapers that look out over Times Square.
On that block, Saturday evening performances for such plays "Red," ''God of Carnage," ''Lend Me a Tenor," and "A Behanding in Spokane," were delayed for about a half-hour, and the shows played to smaller numbers of theatergoers than usual, said Adrian Bryan-Brown, a spokesman for the shows.
The car was parked directly in fronto fthe Minskoff Theatre, where the popular "Lion King" was showing. Neither last night's nor today's matinee performances were canceled, according to Disney spokeswoman Adriana Douzos. Theatergoers who were unable to get to the show because of police activity can get refunds or exchanges, she said.
Theatergoers were kept off 45th Street after the performances.
When the curtain came down, theatergoers at "Red" and "God of Carnage," for example, were asked to exit through the stage-door alley and into the lobby of a hotel that faces Eighth Avenue rather than onto West 45th Street. And at "Billy Elliot," patrons were told to exit the theater through its back doors on West 46th Street.
Hit shows in theaters located away from the area, such as "Wicked," ''Fences," ''Mamma Mia!" and "Jersey Boys," were unaffected.