It may be blizzarding in New York City, but a little (or a lotta) snow doesn’t faze showbiz folks who believe that the show must go on. The Broadway League announced this morning that there will be no cancellations today, and both the matinee and evening Broadway shows will play as scheduled. If you have to travel into NYC and are worried about dealing with the bad weather, you may want to contact your show’s ticketing agent to see if they will be willing to exchange your tickets for another date. Not all shows are willing to offer exchanges, but some will, so it is worth asking. So far Telecharge has announced that it will offer exchanges to people holding tickets to these Broadway shows: Billy Elliot, Chicago, Fela!, God of Carnage, Hair, Jersey Boys, A Little Night Music, Mamma Mia!, Memphis, The Phantom of the Opera, Race, South Pacific, Time Stands Still, and A View from the Bridge.
As with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day bring many schedule changes for Broadway shows. Apparently the shows are expecting that few people will want to ring in the new year inside a theater because nearly every Broadway show has canceled its evening performance on December 31. However, a few of the more popular musicals such as Jersey Boys and The Lion King have added a matinee performance for that day instead. On Friday, January 1, New Year’s Day itself, the majority of Broadway shows are still doing their usual 8pm performance, but there are still a few that have canceled that performance. So if you have any plans of taking in a Broadway musical or play around New Year’s, be sure to check the schedules of the shows you’re interested in ahead of time, to make sure that you haven’t set your sights on a show that won’t actually be playing.
As always, January is a brutal month for Broadway, which unfortunately gets a chilly reception from the ticket-buying public. The tourists have all gone home following the December holiday season, and locals are staying in the warmth of their homes as they recover from the financial blow dealt by all that Christmas and Chanukah merriment. Knowing this, Broadway producers frequently decide in advance that they will close their more monetarily troubled shows in early January. This year, those doomed Broadway shows include Burn the Floor and The 39 Steps (closing January 10), and Shrek the Musical and Superior Donuts (closing January 3). The limited-run shows In the Next Room and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will also be shuttering in January. So if you have been dragging your feet on seeing any of these Broadway shows, be sure to get tickets while you can. Even these plays and musicals might not be discounting right over the Christmas holiday, but for most of them you can get good discounts on tickets for January performance dates.
Through rain, sleet or snow may be the credo of the U.S. postal service, but it applies to Broadway as well, where the show must always go on. Despite heavy snowfall and even blizzard-like conditions in New York City overnight on Saturday, Broadway shows are still running as usual. Fortunately the snow didn’t get heavy until after curtain last night, and it had ceased by morning, meaning that Sunday matinee-goers won’t have to brave a flurry of flakes. Of course, the accumulation on the ground is another story, so anybody traveling more than a few blocks to Times Square may want to give themselves plenty of time to get to their theater. For people outside the city who can’t get out of their driveway and want to cancel their tickets, they can try calling Ticketmaster or Telecharge to see if they would be willing to exchange the tickets for another date. However, please be aware that technically both of those services have a ‘no refunds or exchanges’ policy.
If you’re thinking of getting tickets for a Broadway show over the Independence Day weekend, be aware that most Broadway shows are altering their schedules for the holiday. Many shows are eliminating one performance (and in some cases both) on Saturday, July 4. A few shows are also adding an extra performance on Sunday, July 5. If you aren’t yet thinking of seeing a Broadway show this weekend, then you may want to consider it. Almost every Broadway musical and play is discounting tickets for the weekend because the 4th of July tends to be a slow time on the Great White Way. A number of shows are even offering the ticket discounts through next week too. It’s a great week to be an American and a Broadway fan!
Remember that, the stagehands’ strike notwithstanding, Broadway is far from being closed. The re-opening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes for a total of nine shows still gracing the theaters of Broadway. Those other eight plays and musicals are The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Cymbeline, Mary Poppins, Mauritius, Pygmalion, The Ritz, Xanadu, and Young Frankenstein. Although Poppins and Frankenstein are probably pretty full, the other shows all have seats to spare. With Spelling Bee set to close very soon, now would be a great time to catch that charming musical while you still have the chance. Mauritius and Pygmalion are both intelligent and funny plays (one brand new, and the other a classic revival) worth seeing, and The Ritz is a silly, fun farce. So get out there and support Broadway in its time of need!
Usually it isn’t until after the Tony Awards that Broadway shows start biting the dust left and right, but this year a lot of shows can’t even hold out that long. Coram Boy has already shuttered, Journey’s End closes this Sunday, and now The Pirate Queen announces it will walk the plank on June 17. Who could be next?
Last night at the Drama Desk Awards, which celebrate everything from Broadway to Off-Off Broadway, it was no surprise when The Coast of Utopia took Best Play and Spring Awakening took Best Musical. Nor did anyone raise any eyebrow when Journey’s End and Company snagged Best Play and Musical Revival, respectively. What was unusual was the fact that there were two ties: Beloved Broadway divas Audra McDonald (110 in the Shade) and Donna Murphy (LoveMusik) shared the Best Actress in a Musical award. Even more interesting, Company revival orchestrator Mary-Mitchell Campbell shared the award with the man who wrote the orchestrations for the original Broadway production of that show, Jonathan Tunick (he won for LoveMusik).