When will Broadway lights shine again?
Over a month has passed since Andrew Cuomo issued an order to close down Broadway. This measure should help NYC to stop the spread of the pandemic and defeat covid-19. Initially, this restriction was supposed to be in effect until April 13, but then an extension of the quarantine was announced for an indefinite period.
Theater owners & producers also made a sad statement to the public. They have said that viewers will see the next Broadway shows no sooner than June 7. Until then, all the theaters will be closed and the artists will suspend their performances.
The president of the Broadway League has told the public why such measures were taken. Charlotte St. Martin has said it was done in order to protect all the theatre fans and the millions of New Yorkers who will be contacting with them. The President also remembered to mention the people who create shows. Actors, directors, musicians, janitors and all other staff must also be protected from the covid-19. She also added that all the people who work in theaters are waiting for the moment when they can be joined with the viewers again.
Authoritative NYC publications write that the Broadway League plans will not come true and it takes more time to stop the epidemic and return to the previous life. No matter how all theatergoers and creators of productions would like to, but on 7 June Broadway lights will not burn as before. There are several reasons for this opinion, which are hard to disagree with. The live performances are gathering a lot of people in one space, which can cause numerous infestations. As we all know, older people are particularly vulnerable to covid-19, and they are a significant audience on Broadway productions.
Broadway theaters’ profits are directly linked to tourism in the city, so The Great White Way gets a big financial loss in these months. Ticket sellers do not know when the coronavirus will be stopped and are not in a hurry to set a final date for refunds for failed performances.
During a recent briefing, Andrew Cuomo said that it is not known when the full Broadway life will return. He added that the first thing to be concerned about is public health, because the number of infected and dead from the covid-19 is enormous.
The Broadway league addressed all ticket holders. The statement says that all those who bought tickets for the productions until June 7 have already received an e-mail. It contains detailed information about the possibility of exchanging the ticket or returning the money. If for some reason the email did not arrive, you should contact the point of purchase for more information.
There were such sad periods in Broadway history before, but they never continued so long. After the terrifying attacks of September 11th, theatre production was halted for two days. In 2003, there was a strike by theatre workers that lasts four days and the longest strike in 2007. It lasted 19 days and was the longest at that point in time, after which the Broadway lights were lit again.
In early spring, Broadway theaters were in no hurry to suspend production because of two reasons. The first cause was not to leave all the specialists who create theatre performances out of work. Second, and perhaps the main reason was that insurance against income loss would not have been paid if the Broadway bosses had stopped productions on their own initiative. Since the shutdown of theatrical production due to the coronavirus epidemic was triggered by the government, the insurance companies had to cover part of the losses from cancelled performances.
Prestigious theatre awards, which as usual were to be held in early June, were postponed. Many theatre performances have been closed or the date of productions has been rescheduled. Some of them audience had not yet had a chance to see.
At the onset of the pandemic, economic experts made a sad prediction that New York’s theaters would incur losses of more than a hundred million dollars. But nobody could have predicted at that time that the coronavirus would strike so long and so hard the US economic system. Broadway, as an integral part of the American entertainment and tourism business, is going through the hardest period in its own history. Closing borders and stopping tourism for such a long period may have irreversible, colossal consequences, far exceeding a hundred million dollars. Will Broadway lights be able to shine with the same power?