With no indication of when New York and Broadway will reopen for business amid a worsening public health and economic catastrophe, producer Scott Rudin cancelled his revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
It played just nine previews and was to open on April 9 at the Booth Theatre, before Broadway was forced to go dark indefinitely by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Rudin and his producing partners Barry Diller and David Geffen announced the closure in a release early Saturday morning. On Friday, Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen called it a day after 13 previews.
Producers are cutting their losses as governors around the country, including Cuomo, take increasingly drastic steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus. On Friday, Cuomo ordered that “non-essential” businesses keep their workers at home and that people stay inside except to exercise and shop for food and medicine.
Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin told the New York Times that the original target for Broadway reopening, the week of April 13, will likely be extended. That would make a delay in the Tony Awards, scheduled for June 7, all but inevitable.
The Joe Mantello-directed revival starred Laurie Metcalf, Rupert Everett, Patsy Ferran and Russell Tovey. In the press release, Rudin blamed “cast scheduling conflicts amid the shutdown” for the cancellation. During previews it garnered a score of 88 out of 100 on Show-Score, a fan review site that recently announced an “intermission” for new notices until theater restarts.