Broadway will remain dark for the rest of the year

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Broadway shows won't return to the stage until at least January 2021, according to The Broadway League, a national trade association for the Broadway industry.

"Currently, returning productions are projected to resume performances on a series of consecutive dates in early 2021," the League said in a statement. He added that industry leaders are currently reviewing with government officials and doctors about the logistics of how to safely restart performances, such as "detection and testing, cleaning and disinfection, in-theater guidance, behind-the-scenes protocols and much more. plus".

Tickets purchased for all performances until January 3 of next year will be refunded or exchanged.

"The Broadway experience can be profoundly personal, but it is also crucially community-based," Broadway League Board President Thomas Schumacher said in a statement. "The alchemy of 1000 strangers coming together in a single audience feeding each artist onstage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theaters can host full venues."

While Broadway has darkened before, such as after the September 11 terror attacks or due to strikes, the suspension of shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been the longest shutdown in its history, costing countless jobs and millions of dollars.

By the time Broadway first stopped the shows in March, 31 productions were running, including eight new shows in progress, according to the League. Eight additional shows were in rehearsals preparing to debut in the spring.

Alex Boniello, who starred in "Spring Awakening" and "Dear Evan Hansen," didn't seem overly optimistic that this would be the final extension of the shutdown.

"It will be longer than this," Boniello tweeted. "Again, the impact of this is tremendously far-reaching. Actors, musicians, directors, stage managers, crew, ushers, restaurants in the area, hotels in the area, etc. Everything will continue to be financially devastated by this. For please wear a mask. "

Still, for theater-lovers who are missing musicals, they will at least be able to sample the lights, music and action when the filmed version of the acclaimed musical "Hamilton" begins airing on Disney + this Friday.

CNN's Lisa Respers France contributed to this report.

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