NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Due to a statewide ban on gatherings of more than 500 people, the bright lights of Broadway are going dark.
The Broadway League announced all shows were suspended through April 12.
“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “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 move hits hard for both long-running shows and new productions, such as “SIX: The Musical,” a show about Henry VIII’s six ex-wives that was supposed to have its opening night on Thursday.
Large venues like Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center will be likely be closed for months, said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Chelsea Piers announced it would be closed until the end of the month.
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Elsewhere across America, major music tours and film productions were also delayed or interrupted.
Rock band The Who postponed their UK and Ireland tour that was scheduled to start Monday and run through April 8. Grammy-winning country duo Dan + Shay rescheduled the spring leg of their US arena tour, after they said some of their concerts were being forced to mandatorily postpone.
“We want the shows to be memorable, and not experienced with fear,” the “10,000 Hours” singers said in a statement Thursday.
Blake Shelton postponed the last two weeks of his Friends and Heroes tour, and Billy Joel also postponed two shows in March and April for later this year.
“I won’t take chances with the ones I love,” Kenny Chesney said in a statement announcing postponement dates on his upcoming tour spanning from mid-April through the end of May.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame postponed its induction ceremony, which was to feature commemorations of the late artists Whitney Houston and The Notorious B.I.G., as well as performances honoring Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails and T-Rex.
The city of Houston ordered the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, a major concert series in Texas, to close early, canceling upcoming shows by Lizzo, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban. This year’s attendance varied from 50,000 to 70,000 people per concert.
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Studios began scuttling their upcoming releases Thursday, delaying “A Quiet Place 2” and “F9,” the latest “Fast & Furious” film that was to be a major summer release.
“Mulan,” Disney’s live-action remake of the animated tale, will not be released on March 27 as planned. No new date has been announced. Along with other film postponements, including “Blue Story” and “Lovebirds,” domestic theaters could have few new releases to entice audiences for weeks to come.
In Los Angeles, the TCM Classic Film Festival was canceled, with organizers citing concerns about public health.
The festival held in the heart of Hollywood was to run from April 16-19, kicking off with a screening of “Back to the Future.” Organizers say it will refund all ticket purchases.
HOLD THE APPLAUSE…
The television industry continued to forgo audiences and large gatherings for its shows and events, with the audience-participation heavy “The Price Is Right” suspending production altogether.
Production company Fremantle announced Thursday night that it would put show tapings on hold “for the short term.” The company also said its shows “America’s Got Talent” and “Family Feud” will film without live audiences.
Comedy Central’s “Lights Out With David Spade” and “Tosh.0,” will both tape without crowds beginning Monday, and Pop TV’s sitcom “One Day at a Time” has been taping without a studio audience since Tuesday.
Several broadcasters at the so-called “upfronts” — at which networks unveil their fall schedules to sell advance commercial time to advertisers — will not feature massive in-person presentations.
NBCUniversal, Fox and ViacomCBS said Thursday that their presentations long-held in New York City theaters such as Carnegie Hall will be replaced by online specials and information for the advertising community. WarnerMedia says it is rethinking its presentation and will instead offer “a unique video experience” on May 13.
The Emmy Awards are adjusting to the health crisis even though nominations aren’t due out until this summer and the ceremony is more than six months away. The early “for your consideration” Q&A panels held to drum up voter interest in shows and their makers as potential nominees will have to go online, the Television Academy said Thursday.
Out of concern for all involved and to help “do our part” against the coronavirus, the organization decided to limit such events to live-streamed or taped panels held without an audience, academy President Maury McIntyre said in a statement Thursday. The academy also is suspending all member activities through April, McIntyre said, or until circumstances allow their resumption.
…AND THE AWARDS, TOO
The Kids’ Choice Awards, scheduled for March 22 in Los Angeles, has been postponed.
GLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization, canceled its GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 19.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)