As Broadway grapples with the coronavirus crisis, producers have concluded that the Great White Way will not reopen in May, as they’d hoped. The best-case scenario right now is the summer, and that means many new shows aren’t going to survive.
“This is worse than 9/11,” says a top producer. “We lost a few shows then — we’re going to lose a lot more now.”
All press agents have been instructed to say that the shows they represent will open as soon as the crisis has passed. The reality is this: Unless a show has plenty of money in the bank — or very rich backers — it’s finished.
Theater unions are negotiating with producers to get their members paid for as long as possible. I’m told that a deal being worked out guarantees salaries for at least two weeks and then for another two weeks at lower rates. But after that, all bets are off.