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Broadway and the Blizzard: Questions and Answers

When snow begins to fall, New Yorkers ask one question — how bad will it get? — and New York theatergoers ask three more:

Will the shows be canceled?

Will shows offer a snow day discount?

What if I can’t make it to a show that hasn’t been canceled?

Here are some answers:

1. How bad will it be?

Check online at the National Weather Service and/or Weather.com. The National Weather Service, a government agency, also has a good Twitter feed specifically for information about the New York region, @NWSNewYorkNY.

January 5th update: Falling snow is no longer an issue in New York City. (Total accumulation of snow in New York on January 4 ranged from 6 to 9 inches.) Frigid temperatures remain a weather hazard. (Shows have never been canceled simply because of cold weather.)

January 4: As of this writing, meteorologists are forecasting total snow accumulations in New York City of five to eight inches, “with localized amounts up to 10 inches especially across Queens and Nassau Counties.” There is a storm watch in effect from 1 a.m. Thursday January 4, 2018 to 1 a.m. Friday, January 5, 2018.

The Weather Channel has dubbed this first storm of 2018 Winter Storm Grayson. The New York City public schools are canceled for Thursday.

Times Square, January 4, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.

Times Square, January 4, 2018 at 4 p.m. The worst of the snowstorm looks to be over in Times Square.

2. Will the shows be canceled

Update, January 4 at 3 p.m.

Off-Broadway seems to holding steady as well:

Actors Equity offices are closed today due to the winter storm. All auditions will be rescheduled

A.R.T./New York Theatres will be closed today.

In general, it is rare for The Broadway League, the trade association of Broadway producers and presenters, to cancel shows on the Great White Way. However, for two Januarys in a row — in 2015 and 2016 – Broadway was shut down completely for a day because of a blizzard. In 2015, it was a false alarm — there wasn’t that much snow — but the governor had shut down the subway system, so the League was worried about both theatergoers and casts making it to and from the shows. In 2016, there was more than TWO FEET of snow.

In other words: For the quickest gauge of whether shows will (soon/eventually) be canceled, check out the subway system alerts – on Twitter @NYCTSubway, or online

A newly created three-minute MTA video which is about two minutes longer than it has to be:

The best way to track actual cancellations of individual New York shows is to check their Twitter feeds or their websites.  Theater news sites (such as this one) also keep up on the latest information.

3. Will shows offer a snow day discount?<
Sometimes some do; sometimes they don’t. The best way to check this out is on Twitter. The shows themselves Tweet about it, and enterprising Tweeters (such as myself) often post their offers using a hashtag like #SnowDayDiscount. (Broadway shows are unlikely to advertise their snow day discounts on their websites. ) I have seen several hit shows, with impossible-t0-get-tickets, for steep discounts because I braved the elements to get there, when many ticket-holders didn’t show up.  (No, this did not include Hamilton.)

Snow day discounts on January 4 (unless otherwise indicated)

Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses (Off-Broadway), 7 PM: $20 tickets with code FLURRICANE at OvationTix.com.

Chicago, 8 PM: Up to $20 off with code CHFLY218 at TelechargeOffers.com.

John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, performances through January 7: $39 select orchestra and mezzanine seats, $29 rear mezzanine seats with code SBHSNOW1 at RoundaboutTheatre.org.

Latin History for Morons, 7 PM: Up to $25 off with code LHSNOW at TelechargeOffers.com.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Off-Broadway), 7:30 PM: $30 tickets with code MSFSNOW30 at RomanticCentury.org.

The Parisian Woman, 7 PM: Seats starting at $39 with code BELOW at ATGTickets.com.

4. What if I can’t make it to a show for which I have tickets? For information about refunds and exchanges, please contact the point of purchase. Here is the list that I compiled during previous blizzards. (If these do not work for the tickets you have, please contact the theater’s box office directly):

Telecharge: 212-239-6210 or 800-543-4835 or online at telecharge.com

Ticketmaster: 877-250-2929 or Ticketmaster.com)
Disney on Broadway: 866-870-2717
Roundabout Theatre: 212-719-1300

 

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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.

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