How Broadway will survive the coronavirus

With the coronavirus outbreak, Broadway is struggling with its worst crisis since 9/11. But it got a lifeline, albeit a skinny a single, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who yesterday prohibited gatherings of a lot more than 500 folks. That ruling permits Broadway producers, whose exhibits have been shut down as a result of April 12, to acquire insurance coverage money. The payments won’t cover all the things — and several exhibits may well near or not even open up — but as just one producer explained, “It’s a thing.”

As the 7 days started, Broadway appeared identified to adhere to the outdated adage, “The exhibit will have to go on.” But as the virus — and the worry — distribute, producers had been shocked to see so several theatergoers clamoring for refunds or new dates. (Telecharge will mechanically refund acquired tickets for performances involving March 12 and April 12.)

Immediately after President Trump announced that he was prohibiting flights from Europe to The us, the base fell out. Travelers invest in virtually 65 p.c of the tickets offered on Broadway, specifically in the spring and summer time.

Until the coronavirus abates, very couple persons will be touring wherever. Actors Fairness, which signifies Broadway performers, advocated for a shutdown. An actor in “Moulin Rouge!” stayed residence with a fever, and everybody backstage was fearful of his problem. It’s not been identified if he has the virus.

Broadway producers satisfied Thursday at midday to decide what to do, and most people was “calm,” a supply explained. The producers recognized Broadway had to shut, but feel the marketplace can bounce back when the concern has abated.

Whether some of its new demonstrates will endure stays to be viewed. A couple displays in previews really don’t have ample cash reserves to see them through this storm. Tracy Letts’ new play “The Minutes,” which was to open on Sunday, was rumored to be in difficulty. But a spokesman insists: “‘The Minutes’ will reopen on April 13.”

Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen,” which gained wonderful reviews when it performed off-Broadway, was also in previews and could find itself in difficulties. But its producer Robert Fox claims: “We will be wanting at the situation, and if there is likely to reopen, we will reopen alongside with the other plays that are in the identical problem.”

There were being rumors that Broadway’s longest functioning clearly show — “The Phantom of the Opera” — may possibly have to near down for excellent. Following 32 several years, it is dependent on the vacationer trade, which will be thin for the future couple months. But Andrew Lloyd Webber tells me that he has no intention of closing it. There are “huge programs to remarket and refresh it,” says Lloyd Webber, who plans to retain it open up another 30 several years.

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker were being due to start previews Friday in “Plaza Suite.” They the two bought ill with flu in Boston during the out-of-city tryout, and were being understandably anxious about opening in the course of the coronavirus outbreak. (Broderick’s sister was just identified with the virus.) But they’re each troopers and have allow it be recognised that when Broadway is up and jogging once again, they’ll be all set to complete.

At the finish of the working day, that spirit is what will preserve Broadway. Not only has the Fantastic White Way weathered 9/11, but it also survived the Great Melancholy, the monetary crises of the 1970s and 2008 and a further virus a lot more lethal than coronavirus: AIDS.

That one particular wiped out untold numbers of theater persons.

Broadway will occur again, one particular press agent claims, because “we’re good at staging comebacks.”

And when it does, I see Patti LuPone, the star of the upcoming revival of “Company,” Broderick, Parker, Hugh Jackman and the casts of “Moulin Rouge!,” “The Ebook of Mormon,” “Wicked,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hamilton” primary the cost.

If only Elaine Stritch could be there to guide most people in “I’m Nonetheless Listed here,” Broadway’s real anthem, now and for good.

“Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” airs weekdays on WOR Radio 710.