NEW YORK — The Great White Way is going to stay dark this summer.
Broadway theaters has begun offering refunds and exchanges for all shows through Labor Day, the Broadway League announced Tuesday, with both options currently available.
“While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theater — behind the curtain and in front of it — before shows can return,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin.
“The Broadway League’s membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, government officials and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry.”
Broadway performances were suspended on March 12 after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed a ban on gatherings of 500 or more people. The timetable for their return remains uncertain as the pandemic looms large over the popular and profitable New York institution.
“The Broadway League took a difficult but necessary action to put the safety of everyone from the audience to the actors to the stage managers first,” said Mary McCall, executive director of the Actors’ Equity Association, the industry union. “Before our members can safely return to work, we will need new protocols that can protect audiences and workers alike.”
Broadway grosses in the last full week of operations this year was $26.7 million as concerns about coronavirus were growing. At this time last year, the weekly gross was $31.5 million.
“Throughout this challenging time, we have been in close contact with Gov. Cuomo’s office and are grateful for his support and leadership as we work together to bring back this vital part of New York’s economy — and spirit,” said St. Martin.
Entertainment, including sporting events and the arts, are in the final phase of the governor’s plan for reopening the state.
The Broadway closing led to the loss of thousands of job. When the theaters were shuttered, there were 31 productions running, including eight new shows in previews, along with another eight shows in rehearsals preparing for the spring season.