All Broadway theaters will close as of 5 p.m. Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced today.
The shutdown was ordered by Cuomo, after he banned gatherings of 500 or more. The shutdown will remain in place through April 12, according to the Broadway League. Shows will resume on April 13.
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement.
The League had previously said that Broadway would be remain “open for business” unless advised not to by the government. All other events and gatherings of 500 or more were ordered to shut down on Friday. Broadway was separately ordered to cease operation on Thursday.There were six Broadway openings scheduled for March, including the opening of “Six” Thursday night. Three more, “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Caroline or Change” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” were scheduled to open before April 12. Many more are scheduled to begin previews and open ahead of the April 23 deadline to be eligible for the 2020 Tony Awards. In total, there were 31 productions on the boards Thursday.
The League did not have an update as of Thursday afternoon as to whether the Tony Awards, scheduled for June 7, or eligibility dates would be moved.
There were 95 confirmed cases of coronaviruses in New York City as of Thursday, including a Broadway usher who worked at the Booth and Brooks Atkinson Theatres in recent weeks.
This joins other closures announced Thursday in New York City, including the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Broadway has shutdown a handful of times in the past, including a League-ordered shutdown for all shows two days after Sept. 11, 2001. Previous instances include a 1960s’ Equity strike, resulting in an 11-day shutdown of the industry and musicians’ strikes in 1975 and 2003 that largely impacted musicals.