NEW YORK, N.Y.—There will be no curtain calls. No bows. No roses thrown on stage. Broadway theaters will stay closed indefinitely until Summer 2021.
The closure of Broadway for another seven months is a devastating blow to New York’s economy. Broadway is believed to generate upwards of $14.8 billion a year for New York City; while employing 97,000 people—according to Broadway League.
Broadway theaters have been shut down since March as NYC emerged as the virus epicenter. So far, more than 23,800 residents of New York City have died as a result of COVID-19. The announcement by the Broadway League to keep Broadway closed comes on the heels of Gov. Andrew Cuomo locking down parts of the city days earlier after coronavirus cases surged in Brooklyn and Queens, including suburban counties like Rockland and Orange.
The shutdown comes during a period of renaissance for Broadway. In recent years, Broadway has seen record growth with new shows like ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Dear Even Hansen’ bringing in $1.83 billion and attracting 15 million visitors during the 2018-2019 season, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which represents producers said: “We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.” Producers have been scrambling recently, and have been pushing the shutdown back further and further. Citing health and city authorities, the shutdown was previously extended to June 7, then again to September 6, and again to January 3.
Broadway hasn’t been the only performing arts centerpiece of New York to shut down. Less than a month before the announcement by the Broadway League, the Metropolitan Opera said it would skip an entire season for the first time in its nearly 140-year history, and will return next September.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, has canceled most performances and events through the end of 2020, as well as the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. After a recent uptick in Covid cases in September, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the return of lockdown measures, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened to fine people $15,000 if they violate a ban on mass gatherings and $1,000 for those refusing to wear masks in the hotspot neighborhoods being shut down due to elevated COVID-19 rates.
How does Broadway, now orphaned, star of New York… come back? Like Hamilton says: In New York, New York, just you wait—hopefully—not too much longer.
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Source: The Daily Mail