Broadway Goes Dark For A Month Starting Tonight

by Valerie Williams
Signage on the stage door at Hamilton An American Musical on Broadway on March 12, 2020 in New York ...

Broadway shows will shut down for a month due to coronavirus measures taken by the state of New York

Amid the ever-growing spread of the novel coronavirus, a number of public events are being postponed or shut down completely in an attempt to slow transmission of the illness. Most recently, it’s been announced that Broadway will go dark for a month in order to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive to end all gatherings of more than 500 people in the state.

Cuomo released a statement on his Twitter account today sharing the news. “We are taking new actions to reduce the density of people across the state. Starting Friday at 5pm, gatherings with 500 people or more will not be permitted in NYS. Additionally, for facilities with an occupancy of 500 or fewer, we are reducing the legal capacity by 50%,” he tweeted.

“For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY. We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.”

This means a temporary closure for the runs of 31 plays and musicals including Hamilton, The Lion King, and new musical Six, which was supposed to open tonight.

The Broadway League, a trade organization representing producers and theater owners, said in a statement that the shows will reopen again on April 12. “Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night.”

The League says those holding tickets for shows happening in the next month “should contact their point of purchase for refunds and exchanges.”