The musical Six was set to open Thursday night

By Nigel Smith
March 12, 2020 02:51 PM

Broadway is going dark a day after COVID-19 coronavirus was declared a global pandemic.

On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference 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 5:00 p.m. March 13, but Broadway theaters are shuttering beginning 5:00 p.m. March 12.

The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, says Broadway will reopen the week of April 13.

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“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,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League said in a statement. “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 Booth Theatre on Broadway
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The musical Six was set to open Thursday night, while a number of new productions, including the play Plaza Suite starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, were to have begun preview performances on March 13.

“Those holding tickets for performances through April 12 should contact their point of purchase for refunds and exchanges,” the Broadway League advised.

Playbill reports that these closures marks the first time Broadway theater will shut down for a lengthy period since the stagehand union strike of 2007, when theaters went dark for 19 days.

Recently, the NBA decided to suspend the rest of its current season after a player on the Utah Jazz team tested positive.

Festivals including SXSW Film Festival and Ultra music festival in Miami have also been canceled, while the Coachella Music Festival decided to postpone until October.

There are 1,323 reported cases in the U.S., with 38 deaths to date. Worldwide, the virus has impacted over 127,000 people and caused 4,718 deaths.

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