Broadway Shows Won’t Come Back Until the Summer

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.