Broadway shows will remain closed through at least Jan. 3, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The Broadway League is expected to make an announcement about the new date this week. The League had previously announced a shutdown of all Broadway shows through Sept. 4, but had not said that shows would necessarily resume at that time.
Asked for comment, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said there is still “no official return date” for Broadway shows.
“While I have been saying for some time that it is highly possible that we would not return until after the first of the year, we have no official return date yet,” St. Martin said in a statement to Broadway News. “We are in discussions with the producers and theatre owners about the best time to return understanding that in the end, it will be the Governor who tells us when we can reopen. We continue to remind everyone that a date for ticket returns and exchanges is not the same as a date to resume performances. We are constantly reviewing the calendar taking into account the information available to us at any given time.”
Like previous closure announcements, the new January closure date is seen as a measure to process additional ticket refunds, rather than as a marker of when Broadway might resume. By staggering the announced closure dates — first through April 13, then June 7 and most recently, Sept. 4 — box offices and ticket sellers are better able to manage their cash flow.
The extension into January is not unexpected. Many in the industry foresaw closures into the winter and potentially through March 2021, or whenever a vaccine becomes available.
The Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall announced the cancellation of their respective fall seasons last week. Carnegie Hall has set a reopening date of Jan. 7, 2021, with the Lincoln Center aiming for February.
On the West End, producer Cameron Mackintosh said his productions of “Les Misérables,” “Mary Poppins,” “Hamilton” and “The Phantom of the Opera” will not return until 2021.
The shutdown of Broadway, which began on March 12, has already led to the closure of the “Hangmen” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” as well as the early closure of “Beetlejuice.”
The new date will now put into question the opening date of the high profile “The Music Man,” which was set to begin previews in September and open on Oct. 15. It also throws a wrinkle into the plans of several non-profit theaters which had rescheduled spring shows for the fall. Those non-profit productions include Roundabout Theatre Company’s “Caroline or Change” and “Birthday Candles,” as well as Lincoln Center Theater‘s “Flying Over Sunset.”
Theaters are not allowed to open until Phase 4, the last phase of New York’s Reopening Plan. On Monday, New York City entered Phase 2 of reopening, which allows outdoor dining and the reopening of hair salons, among other measures.