Broadway Shutdown Extended Through May 2021

(photo: Ludovic Bertron/FlickrCC license)

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, announced on Friday that all 41 Broadway theaters will remain closed through May 30, 2021. Devastating news, not only for the theatre community but the economy of New York City.

Earlier this year, on March 12, the League shut down all shows in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. According to a statement from the League, 31 productions were running at that time, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.

The initial shutdown was to last just a month through April 12. But the reopening date has been rescheduled multiple times. The most recent announcement led hopeful theatre artists and audiences to believe the marquee lights would light up again in a staggered fashion beginning January 3, 2021.

Theatre producers who had planned to begin performances, like the highly-anticipated revival of The Music Manstarring 2 two-time Tony Award winners Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster as well as revivals of plays including Take Me Out and American Buffalo, will all need to reshuffle their schedules.

Playbill reports The Music Man has already moved its first preview performance to December 20, 2021.

The New York Times reports that a bio-musical about the life and career of Michael Jackson, titled MJ The Musical, which was set to premiere this summer, then moved to Spring 2021, has now been rescheduled to next fall.

Some productions, like Disney’s Frozen, have announced they will not reopen at all when the coast is finally clear. A new play by Martin McDonagh called Hangmen, and a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which were both in previews at the time of the shutdown, have suffered a similar fate.

The shutdown doesn’t just affect the actors, stage crew, musicians, box office, and production staffers. The ripple effect of closing down Broadway has an enormous impact on local restaurants and hotels that welcome guests from out of town eager to see a Broadway show.

According to the Times, in 2019, the industry’s theaters drew 14.6 million theatergoers and sold $1.8 billion worth of tickets. With theaters open less than 3 months this year, the annual grosses will be just a fraction of that.

Television and film production has begun to ramp back up with safety protocols in place. But Broadway theaters can be small, cramped spaces to work in even when there’s no virus to worry about. And the high cost of overhead for shows makes operating with reduced audience capacity a nonstarter.

Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, released a statement which read, in part:

“Today the Broadway League made the difficult but responsible decision to put the safety and health of their workers and audience first,” said Mary McColl, executive director for Actors’ Equity Association. “This is a deeply painful time for everyone who depends on the arts for their livelihood.”

“We are at this moment because, seven months into the pandemic, our nation still lacks a coherent national strategy for masks and testing which could help bring the virus under control,” she added. “Too many in the industry need help now as we face another six months without work. The ongoing lack of work in the arts means we face a critical need for federal COBRA health insurance subsidies, renewed federal unemployment benefits, and arts funding. Washington must act.”

New Trailer For Hugh Jackman’s “The Greatest Showman”

Inspired by the creative genius of P.T. Barnum, Hugh Jackman’s upcoming The Greatest Showman looks to be the next great movie musical.

The film tells the tale of Barnum who rose to worldwide fame with nothing but drive and a vision of entertainment never before imagined.

Directed by Michael Gracey, the film’s A-list cast includes Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson. The score of original songs was penned by La La Land Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

The Greatest Showman arrives in theaters December 20. Watch the new trailer below.

News Round-Up: June 28, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news stories you may have missed:

• I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the “dude and dog” days of summer. See what I did there…?

• Britney Spears is pissed off people don’t think she sings live in her concerts. Honey, shush…

Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson was ejected from a Department of Justice LGBT Pride event saying the event was closed to the media. Similar events were open to press throughout the Obama administration.

• Netflix is currently developing a 10-episode sequel of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City with original 1993 series stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis set to star.

• A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows 63% of Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill, while only 16% approve.

• Check out this thrilling new trailer for the upcoming Hugh Jackman musical flick, The Greatest Showman, due in theaters this December 25. Also starring in the original musical are Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. The original score features songs by the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land.  I expect the featured song, “This Is Me,” to take off as a new anthem for everyone who finds pride in who they are.

TBT: Hugh Jackman Got Footage Of His Penis At “Wolverine” Wrap Party

Hugh Jackman’s latest movie, Logan, is still raking in the cash at the box office having grossed $525 million worldwide thus far.

The film has the trilogy’s first R rating, but according to a 2009 Jackman interview with Howard Stern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine might have gotten there first if not for some digital blurring.

In the interview, Stern asks Jackman if he has any issues appearing nude on film. Jackman indicated “no” saying he was offered coverage, but the movie set was “just like college.”

Jackman went through shooting scenes fully naked which were eventually addressed by digital magic. Obviously, none of the full frontal footage made it into the film.

But, at the wrap party, Jackman got a surprise gift from the crew.

“When we finished the film, my wrap gift from the director [Gavin Hood] was a bag which had all the film cut off with my dick in it, ” Jackman said. “So, I got frames of film, and I am looking, going, ‘OK, hello!'”

Of course, Stern being Stern, he had to ask about hunky Hugh’s endowment. Said Jackman, “It’s pretty good, I think. I’m fine.”


Hugh Jackman Gives Good Sound In Post-Production

Ah, the sexy magic of movie making.

Here’s an inside look at how seemingly simple scenes – super-heroic running through the forest – have to be pieced and parsed together. Sound sessions like this are a regular part of the process, especially in action films.

Along the way, we get to hear ever handsome Hugh Jackman, grunt, growl and snarl and howl as he drops in sound for the newly released “Wolverine” flick, Logan.

Now, with all that ferocity, imagine what he sounds like on a hot Saturday night 😉

(h/t Boy Culture)