The Broadway League will reportedly announce Friday yet another extension of the stage shutdown in New York City.
It is expected that the organization will suspend performances through May 30, 2021, marking another COVID-19-induced delay before live theater productions will return, NBC New York reported. Details about refunds for tickets sold during the newly announced shutdown period are also expected.
Returning productions are tentatively projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates beginning June 2021, according to BroadwayWorld.com.
Broadway performances were suspended on March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including eight new shows in previews. Rehearsals for eight other productions — set to open in the spring — were also shutdown.
On April 8, a reporter in Albany asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo about Broadway’s initial cancellation of performances with a hoped for reopening date June 7, 2020. The governer responded at the time: “I wouldn’t use what Broadway thinks as a barometer of anything unless they’re in the public health business and have seen better numbers and models.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, who was set to appear in a spring revival of “Plaza Suite” opposite husband Matthew Broderick, wrote in an op-ed for Variety this week that she hopes people who fled New York during the pandemic return and open their wallets for theater tickets.
“I’m encouraging people to come back to New York and reinvest in our community,” the 55-year-old actress wrote. “Whether it’s a theater or a small business, you can’t reopen a business until you have the patrons there — it’s a psychological thing. And I believe it’s incumbent upon people who’ve had success in this city to reinvest, to come home.”
Parker also shouted out all the people directly and indirectly employed by the industry, which grossed $1.8 billion last season and attracted a record 15 million people.
“Theater is the way we induce visitors to come to our city and plan those special afternoons and evenings, which keep such a vast web of my fellow citizens employed and afloat,” she continued. “All the people I know and all the people I don’t know who are out of work need theater for the rent, and the mortgage, and children’s educations — all the countless ‘ands’ that are creating so much anxiety across the city and the nation.”