Security measures are increasing throughout the United States to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which includes the temporary closing of popular tourist attractions and cultural institutions. New York City has been particularly affected.
On Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new ban on gatherings of over 500 people. The Metropolitan Museum of Art closed indefinitely, and the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic will shut its doors until March 31. There is, as yet, no date set for the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Most dramatically, Broadway will also go dark. On Wednesday night, a theater usher was diagnosed with the coronavirus, and the industry spent Thursday discussing whether or not to close down all productions. Ultimately, it was announced that Broadway would suspend all shows for a month, going into effect immediately.
The Broadway closure in New York is the most serious since the days following 9/11, when the theaters shut down for two days. It’s possible that some shows may not be able to recover from the closures.
Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said in a statement, “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. 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.”