All Broadway theaters ordered closed

All Broadway theaters will close at 5 p.m. today, and all Broadway performances will be suspended at least until April 12th, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference today.

Cuomo said that no gatherings of more than 500 people will be allowed, excepting schools, hospitals, mass transit, and nursing homes. That ban will be effective beginning 5 PM, March 12.

For gatherings under 500, the seating capacity will be cut in half, Cuomo said. Many Off-Broadway theaters subsequently also canceled their performances, at least until the end of March. These include (but are not limited to): Ars Nova, New York Theater Work Shop, Playwrights Horizons, the Public Theater, Signature, as well as The Shed. The Vineyard Theater is suspending show until March 31, and then opening at 50 percent capacity from April 1 to 12.

The ban on Broadway took effect at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 12 for the 41 Broadway theaters and will go into effect for other venues on Friday at 5 p.m..

Earlier both the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall have canceled all performances scheduled through March 31

As of Thursday, New York State had confirmed 328 coronavirus cases, with 112 of those added overnight, Cuomo said. One hundred and forty-eight of the cases were in Westchester County and 95 were in New York City.

According to the Broadway League, “those holding tickets for performances through April 12, 2020 should contact their point of purchase for refunds and exchanges.”

Telecharge will automatically refund Broadway tickets purchased for performances between today and April 12. The tickets will be refunded back to purchasers’ credit cards.

Rival service Ticketmaster posted notices on its website for some but not all Broadway shows indicating that internet and phone orders will automatically be cancelled and refunded.

Losses for theaters and theater artists won’t be so easily recovered. At the press conference, Governor Cuomo said: “The state is not going to be able to compensate businesses for lost revenue. It would bankrupt the state.”

The closing of Broadway is occurring at the peak of the Broadway season, with nine shows having scheduled their openings from now through April 12th, including “Six” set to open tonight.

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Author: 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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