Friday, August 26, 2011

Broadway Cancellations - article

UPDATED: Hurricane Irene Prompts Cancellation of All Broadway Shows Aug. 27-28; Off-Broadway Also Impacted
By Kenneth Jones
26 Aug 2011
Irene was a Broadway hit in the 1920s and the 1970s. She's hitting Broadway again, in the form of Hurricane Irene, shutting down the Great White Way Aug. 27-28, The Broadway League announced Aug. 26. Hurricane Irene is expected to lash New York City with high winds and perhaps as much a 5-10 inches of rain Saturday and Sunday.


Shortly after 4 PM Friday, the Nederlander Organization tweeted the news on Twitter that all Saturday and Sunday Broadway shows would go dark owing to the emergency weather situation. This represents the biggest emergency shutdown of Broadway since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (A massive blackout in August 2003 closed Broadway for one performance.)

Following the earlier tweet from the Nederlanders, the official closure statement from The Broadway League came at 5:47 PM Friday, citing "the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of the incoming storm."

Paul Libin, chairman of The Broadway League, stated, "The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone's primary concern."

Some 23 plays and musicals are affected, including the 2011 Tony Award-winning productions of War Horse and The Book of Mormon. Countless Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows will also go dark.

On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had ordered a shut-down of New York City mass transit, effective noon Saturday, Aug. 27. A statement from the governor's office read, "The Metropolitan Transit Authority will institute a system-wide shut-down when trains and buses begin their final runs starting at approximately noon on Saturday; the shut-down will include subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Access-A-Ride."

At 3 PM Friday, Disney Theatrical Productions announced that performances of the Broadway productions of Mary Poppins and The Lion King will not be presented on Saturday and Sunday Aug. 27-28. Refund/exchange inquiries should be made at point of purchase The League soon followed suit.

Disney "made the decision in the interest of its patrons' and staff's safety following the announcement of the impending suspension of MTA and Metro North service," according to a statement.

By 3 PM Friday, some Off-Broadway producers were already starting to cancel weekend shows. By 6 PM, it became clear that most of public life in New York City would be halted for the weekend, with residents hunkering down in their homes. The Off-Broadway shows affected include (but are not limited to) Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall, (The Select) Sun Also Rises at New York Theatre Workshop, The Talls at Second Stage Uptown, Million Dollar Quartet at New World Stages and Olive and the Bitter Herbs by Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters. For more information, visit Contact point of purchase for questions about exchange or refund policies.

Sunday performances of the New York International Fringe Festival have also been cancelled.

Following the League's Friday announcement of the Broadway shutdown, Theatre Development Fund, which operates three TKTS discount theatre ticket booths in New York City (Lower Manhattan, Times Square and Downtown Brooklyn), announced the weekend shuttering of its kiosks.

The Tony-winning Broadway revival of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse's Chicago was to become the fourth longest-running production in Broadway history at the Saturday matinee, surpassing the run of A Chorus Line with a total of 6,138 performances. That milestone at the Ambassador Theatre will now be delayed until the Monday, Aug. 29 performance.

According to the Associated Press, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said transit service probably won't be available again until sometime Monday or later. Residents of low-lying areas in New York City are forced by the city to evacuate to higher ground. City licenses for all outdoor events on Sunday have been revoked. The 8.1 million people in New York City are being urged to stay at home with food, family, friends and emergency supplies such as flashlights and bottled water. Forced evacuation of people in flood zones begins Saturday.

It is generally thought, according to industry sources, that Off-Broadway and Broadway shows that play on a Monday schedule will go on as planned, as long as power and public access are sure things.


If tickets were purchased via Telecharge or Ticketmaster via phone or online: Your credit card will be refunded automatically within 7-10 business days. For any issues, please contact the customer service information included with your tickets. Please have your Order Number/Confirmation Number handy. Original tickets need not be retained.

If tickets were purchased at the box office: Return your original tickets to the theatre's box office. You have the option of receiving a full refund to the original method of payment or exchanging your tickets for an alternate date of your choice, subject to availability.

If tickets were purchased as part of a group: Contact your Group Sales Agent for more information regarding refunds or exchanges. Original tickets should be retained until you contact the Group Sales Agent.

If tickets were purchased through any other sales channel: Return to the original point of purchase for more information. If you have your tickets in hand, please retain them for a refund or exchange. will continue to update this story.

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