Hurricane Irene prompts Broadway cancellations Hurricane Irene prompts Broadway cancellations
Broadway shows are cancelled for the weekend as Hurricane Irene barrels down on New York City. The Disney-produced musicals “Mary Poppins” and the “Lion... Hurricane Irene prompts Broadway cancellations

Broadway shows are cancelled for the weekend as Hurricane Irene barrels down on New York City.

The Disney-produced musicals “Mary Poppins” and the “Lion King” were the first to announce that there would not be performances on Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, due to the pending storm.

That announcement was followed by news that the rest of Broadway would shut down, too, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today, August 26, that the city’s mass transportation system was shutting down at noon on Saturday and would remain closed all day Sunday.

“The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone’s primary concern,” Paul Libin, chairman of The Broadway League and executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, said in a statement. “As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of Hurricane Irene, all performances will be cancelled on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th.”

Off-Broadway shows are also going dark over the weekend. Currently, there are 24 productions on Broadway, and dozens more Off-Broadway, that will be affected by the cancellations.

“All Broadway shows cancelled for 8/27 and 8/28,” the Nederlander Theatre group tweeted on their Twitter page this afternoon just after 4 p.m. EDT. “Please share, and be safe.”

Earlier in the day, however, several productions wrestled with the decision of whether to close for the weekend, and The Broadway League issued a statement that shows would remain open.

Yet, the unprecedented move of shutting down public transportation in and around New York City resulted in theaters deciding to go dark. Scores of other concerts and events along the East Coast, and throughout the Northeast, are also closing through the weekend.

The Broadway League also released information on ticket refunds and exchanges:

– If tickets were purchased via Telecharge or Ticketmaster via phone or online your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.

– If tickets were purchased at the Box Office: please return your original tickets to the Theater Box Office. You have the option of receiving a full refund to the original method of payment or exchanging your tickets for an alternate date of your choice, subject to availability.

– If tickets were purchased as part of a Group: please contact your Group Sales Agent for more information regarding refunds or exchanges. Original tickets should be retained until you contact the Group Sales Agent.

– If tickets were purchased through any other sales channel, please return to the original point of purchase for more information. If you have your tickets in hand, please retain them for a refund or exchange.