Broadway League Extends Theater Shutdown By 4 Months

The suspension of ticket sales will extend to May 30, 2021

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The Broadway League has extended its shutdown of live, in-person performances another four months in light of the ongoing pandemic.

Previously, marquees were supposed to be darkened until January 0f 2021, but that date was pushed further back to May 30, 2021, the Broadway League said Monday.

"We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again," Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said.

Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, knocking out all shows — including 16 that were still scheduled to open — and postponing indefinitely the Tony Award schedule. Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7 and then again to Sept. 6.

It's been seven months since Edward Watts has been under the bright lights of Broadway and now he's preparing to wait longer to return to the stage. Watts is one of the 97,000 workers who work in the New York City theatre industry.

"It's unfortunate but absolutely necessary and I understand it and get it," Watts said. "I miss it so much. It really is what I love to do."

Producers and labor unions had been discussing ways theaters can reopen safely, and performers recently performed outside in Times Square. Other plans include live-streamed shows later this fall.

"Today the Broadway League made the difficult but responsible decision to put the safety and health of their workers and audience first," Mary McColl, executive director for Actors' Equity Association, said. "We are at this moment because, seven months into the pandemic, our nation still lacks a coherent national strategy for masks and testing which could help bring the virus under control."

Deadline reports "The Music Man," one of Broadway's anticipated revivals staring Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman, is scheduled to begin previews in December 2021.

Broadway grossed $1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people.

Performers sing in a pop-up outdoor performance organizers hope will be the first of many across the city. News 4's Checkey Beckford reports.
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