Broadway may soon extend its ongoing shutdown through the end of 2020, according to sources cited in a report posted Monday at Broadwaynews.com. Shows, halted since March due to the coronavirus, will remain closed through at least January 3, 2021, with the official announcement expected to come later this week.
Currently, performances are shut down through at least September 4 of this year, having first been postponed through mid-April, then extended to early June before the most recent move to after Labor Day. The staggered nature of the official closings have allowed box offices and ticket sellers to manage cash flow related to refunds due to customers holding tickets.
Some hypothesize that live events may not return to New York – by far the hardest-hit epicenter of Covid-19 thus far – until well into 2021 or whenever a vaccine is widely available. Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall have already cancelled their fall seasons.
“While I have been saying for some time that it is highly possible that we would not return until after the first of the year, we have no official return date yet,” St. Martin told BroadwayNews in a statement. We are in discussions with the producers and theatre owners about the best time to return understanding that in the end, it will be the Governor who tells us when we can reopen.”
In New York’s reopening plan, mass gathering events including theater performances such as Broadway shows are not allowed until Phase 4 – the final phase of the reopening process. New York City just entered Phase 2 on Monday. A think tank was recently launched to consider how a safe reopening might look for Broadway, and what it may look like, from required mask-wearing to socially distant seating.
For those seeking their Broadway fix, numerous streaming performances have sprung up during the shutdown, including the July debut of the highly anticipated filmed production of Hamilton on Disney+.