Broadway can’t reopen without New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s permission, and it may be among the last sectors of society to get it, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin wrote to members and staff of the trade association this morning.
“We have to remember that the Governor didn’t give us a return date and we have to have that to come back,” St. Martin wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Broadway Journal. “Our intel in Albany does indicate that they think the mass gatherings may be the last area of business to come back.”
Yesterday, the League and American Theatre Wing indefinitely postponed the Tony Awards, planned for June 7, amid the escalating coronavirus crisis. “We can’t make any predictions about when or how we make the Tonys happen as we don’t know yet when we will be back and who will be back. The complications of having 16 shows not officially open yet only makes it more difficult.”
The League hasn’t updated its re-opening date, April 13, which it set when it closed Broadway earlier this month on orders from Cuomo. Mayor Bill de Blasio said yesterday that the city won’t be returning to normal in April. New York City reported 81 virus-related deaths yesterday, raising the total to 280. De Blasio said half of all New Yorkers could eventually get the virus.
St. Martin also said that the League is working on a new website for Broadway employees and employers that will provide info about finding financial aid during the crisis. And the League’s business development and marketing people are developing a plan for a “big splash” when Broadway does reopen.
Three Broadway shows presented by nonprofit companies have been postponed until the fall: the new musical Flying Over Sunset at Lincoln Center Theater; and a revival of Caroline, Or Change and a new play, Birthday Candles, starring Debra Messing, at the Roundabout Theatre Co. Two commercially produced plays have been cancelled: Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen and a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Additional postponements and cancellations are likely.