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Broadway and the Blizzard of 2013

 Broadway during a blizzard in 2000

Broadway during a blizzard in 2000

 

The "blizzard" in Times Square, February 8, 2013, at 9:30 p.m.

The “blizzard” in Times Square, February 8, 2013, at 9:30 p.m.

 

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for New York City and the metropolitan region for today and tomorrow, predicting heavy snow of up to 14 inches and strong winds, and bluntly advising: “Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

Thousands of flights have already been canceled, Amtrak will stop running trains between Penn Station and Boston’s South Station after 1 p.m. today, and Metro North after 5 p.m.,
Marc Jacobs has postponed his show during New York Fashion Week from Monday to Thursday.

What will this mean for Broadway and the rest of New York theater?

Update at 10 p.m.: All Broadway shows went on as scheduled tonight. Not every theater was packed, though.

 

theaterduringFeb8blizzard

(In fairness, this was ten minutes before curtain, and dozens more people arrived before the show started).

There are other “snow deals” being offered besides those from previous updates.

CSC, the Classic Stage Company, is offering $35 tickets available for all weekend shows of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Passion.

Update at 5:30 p.m.: Roundabout offers tickets tonight and tomorrow for $20 for Picnic and Drood if you show your Metro card at the box office.

Update at 3:30 p.m. La Mama ETC has canceled  Four Beckett Shorts tonight at 10 pm

Roundabout Theater Company announced they were continuing with Picnic and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but have canceled the first preview of Tally’s Folly at the Laura Pels Theater. The box office will contact ticketholders.

Update at 1:30 p.m.:

Bloomberg at press conference about storm:  “I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal, but we want to be prepared.”

Update at noon:

The Broadway League announced: “As of now, all Broadway shows will play as scheduled.”

TKTS, the TDF Times Square ticket booth, announced: “Nemo doesn’t scare #Broadway#TKTS Patron Services is here to help, come grab tkts and we’ll tweet your pic!”

TKTS

Shows have been making individual announcements that they will go on as normal. An example on Twitter from the Mystery of Edwin Drood: “Snowpocalypse 2013 isn’t keeping #Drood down. All performances this weekend are scheduled to go on, so come stay warm at Studio 54! ”

If recent history is any guide,  individual shows will cancel one by one if conditions merit it, and the League will wait until it is obvious that no show can go on, and then announce blanket Broadway cancellation: During Superstorm Sandy last year, all shows on Broadway were canceled for three days.

Some see a blizzard as opportunity. I braved the blizzard of February 2010 to see what was then a hot show “Billy Elliot” at a deep discount. During the blizzard of January 2011, Broadway shows made $35 million, the highest grossing week in Broadway history; officials guessed that this was fueled by commuters unable to get home who figured they might as well see a show.

Stay tuned for updates about the storm that the Weather Channel has given the unfortunate name of Nemo.

Broadway during the blizzard of 1978. It was definitely insane out there, but that sign is from the advertising slogan from an electronics retail chain called Crazy Eddie: "Our prices are insane."

Broadway during the blizzard of 1978. It was definitely insane out there, but that sign is from the advertising slogan from an electronics retail chain called Crazy Eddie: “Our prices are insane.”

New York City Office of Emergency Management Winter Health and Safety Tips

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

3 Responses to Broadway and the Blizzard of 2013

  1. Carol Van Keuren says:

    Let us also consider the people who commute to work at the theatres. Most actors, stage hands/technicians etc live outside of the city. Thye have to find a way into the city and then find a way home after.

  2. DonJ says:

    And what about those who spent hundreds to perhaps thousands of $ for tix but can’t get to the city because state roads and commuter rail are closed?? The city closed shows for days when Sandy hit and rightfully so. What about some consideration the other way. I mean were talking about one days worth of show for the safety of many – is that really too kuch? Must the show go on? #thanksbroadway

  3. Pingback: The Broadway Blizzard That Wasn’t. Smash 2. Richard III « New York Theater

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