Although coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the country, producers are making sure “the show will go on” by offering affordable tickets to theatergoers willing to head down to Broadway.
In a joint announcement today, producers of To Kill A Mockingbird, West Side Story, The Lehman Trilogy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and The Book of Mormon said that all remaining tickets to performances from March 12 to March 29 will be offered for only $50. These special prices will be available starting this Thursday, March 12 at 12 p.m.
“As long as New York City is open for business, its beating heart remains on the Broadway stage,” To Kill A Mockingbird producer Scott Rudin said in a statement. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for everyone to see a show that they otherwise might not have had easy and affordable access to. I can’t pretend that theater is the panacea we’ve been waiting for, but in the meantime I think we could all use a few hours away from the evening news.”
These are probably the cheapest tickets theatergoers will find for highly-acclaimed shows like To Kill A Mockingbird – which have been available for upwards of $400 a seat. The catch, however? Fans will have to catch the show in New York City, where concerns of the virus are rampant. According to the New York Times, as of Tuesday morning, New York state had confirmed 140 cases of coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio encouraged people to work from home and avoid crowded subway trains. Meanwhile, classes are closing, New Yorkers are quarantining themselves, and New Jersey has officially declared a state of emergency.
Amid the outbreak, Broadway production scheduled have not been impacted, however, producers are urging ticketholders who are sick with cold or flu symptoms to stay home and contact their point-of-purchase to receive refunds. The Broadway League released a statement yesterday noting that the league has taken additional measures to stop the spread among Broadway theaters.
“We have significantly increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in all public and backstage areas beyond the standard daily schedule, and we have added alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers for public use in the lobby of every theatre,” the league said in a statement. “We invite patrons to make use of soap, paper towels, and tissues available in all restrooms. We remain vigilant, and we are prepared to make decisions based on current recommendations, as well as in response to changing conditions.”
Nonetheless, Broadway shows are still doing well; the total box office gross for the week ending in March 8th was $26,700,956, Playbill reports, which is an uptick from last week’s $26,109,896. New shows on Broadway include Company, Diana, Hangmen, The Lehman Trilogy, The Minutes, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.