amBroadway: Broadway to stay shuttered until Sept. 6, ‘Hamilton’ coming to Disney+ in July and more

Photo: Joan Marcus

Broadway shutdown extended to Sept. 

The shutdown of Broadway due to COVID-19, which went into immediate effect on March 12, has been extended through at least Sept. 6.The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Broadway League, (the trade group representing Broadway theaters and producers. The shutdown was originally scheduled to end on April 13 and was subsequently extended to June 7. “The Broadway League’s membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, governmental officials, and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry,” Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. 

‘Hamilton’ film set for Disney+ release on July 3

The film version of the Broadway production of “Hamilton,” which was originally slated to premiere in movie theaters on Oct. 15, 2021, will instead be released directly onto the streaming platform Disney+ on July 3 of this year. “In light of the extraordinary challenging facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love and the power of people to unit against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful,” Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. Shot in 2016, the film preserves the original performances of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Christopher Jackson.

Independent theaters seek rent forgiveness

The League of Independent Theater (a not-for-profit representing small theater groups) and IndieSpace (which secures real estate for the theater community) will hold an emergency virtual meeting (titled the “Small Venue Rent Forgiveness Town Hall”) on May 28 to ask elected officials to suspend commercial rent payments for small and non-traditional performance venues so that they can survive the current shutdown. The organization noted that on May 6, both Shelter Studios & Theatres in Times Square and the Secret Theatre in Queens announced that they would shut their doors. “Our community stood up and made painful sacrifices for the health and safety of our beloved city. Now, this often overlooked sector is simply asking that, while we are reinventing the cultural landscape, we are not also burdened with a backlog of debt accrued during a period when our work was involuntarily interrupted,” acting director Aime Todoroff said in a statement. 

Outer Critics Circle recognizes cutdown season

In light of the unusual and disrupted nature of the past theater season, the Outer Critics Circle has altered the format of its annual theater awards. Rather than pick multiple nominees and then individual winners, the group (which considers both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions) instead named multiple winners/honorees for each categories. “Moulin Rouge!” led the pack with 11 citations, followed by “Jagged Little Pill” with eight citations.

This week’s streaming recommendations:

  1. Significant Other (a reading of Joshua Harmon’s relationship comedy with the 2017 Broadway cast), May 14 at 8 p.m., broadwaysbestshows.com
  2. Lucia di Lammermoor (Joan Sutherland stars in 1982 Met telecast of Donizetti opera), May 15, metopera.org
  3. The Encounter (Simon McBurney’s audio-intensive solo show depicts a photojournalist in the rainforest), May 15-22, stannswarehouse.org
  4. Barber Shop Chronicles (Inua Ellams’ play observes African men in different barber shops), through May 20, nationaltheatre.org.uk
  5. Bombshell in Concert (a celebration of the Marilyn Monroe bio musical at the heart of the TV series “Smash”), May 20 at 8 p.m., People.com

Spotted at the theater…

No one.

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