All Broadway shows were cancelled this Sunday and Monday evening in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, which is currently moving up the eastern coast of the United States, packing winds of more than 75 miles an hour.
Sandy is expected to reach the New York area on Monday evening, though its effects will begin to be felt earlier than that and last for several days afterwards.
In preparation for the hurricane, and the accompanying expected storm surge of up to eight feet, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the shut down of the city’s bus and subway system beginning at 6pm Sunday evening. As a result, and with no way for many theatregoers, performers and backstage personnel to be able to reach the various theatres and/or return home afterwards, the decision was made to shut down Broadway for at least the next two days.
In a statement released by The Broadway League, executive director Charlotte St. Martin said: “The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone’s primary concern. As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, evening performances will be cancelled tonight, Sunday, October 28, and Monday evening, October 29″.
Numerous off and off-off Broadway shows and other theatre-related events have also been cancelled, including the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival Awards Ceremony; Broadway Scares: Night of the Singing Dead, a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; and the Broadway Impact Phone Bank, which was planning to make phone calls in support of marriage equality issues on the ballot in four states in the upcoming November 6 elections.
Since Sunday and Monday nights are not traditionally busy times on Broadway, only eight shows were cancelled for evening of the 28, and eight shows (not the same eight) were called off for the evening of the 29. Whether performances resume on Tuesday October 30, when more than two dozen shows would normally be running, remains to be seen. All Sunday matinees were preformed as scheduled.