Broadway shows deal with unexpected closures and compensating audiences

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CREATIVE COMMONS PHOTO COURTESY OF AFRONIE

Broadway's shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaves customers wanting more. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Isabella Ji and Michele Roman

A common phrase associated with Broadway, “the show must go on,” is no longer relevant for all 41 of Broadway’s theatres that have shut down since March 12 due to the coronavirus.

According to the official Broadway website, no shows are scheduled until Sept. 7 of this year. 

The shutdown has caused setbacks for the opening of many shows including “Birthday Candles,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Flying over Sunset” and more. These productions will now all premiere for the first time in the fall. 

Additionally, this shutdown has caused many shows, such as “Beetlejuice” and “Hangmen,” to be taken off the Broadway Playbill at an earlier date than expected. 

Sophomore Kacie Farrell of Lincroft spoke on how the closing of “Beetlejuice” was upsetting for her personally.

“I was planning to go see Beetlejuice … but we got a full refund for our tickets,” Farrell said. “I’m upset that I missed the opportunity to see it.”

In order to compensate for the shutdown, Broadway offered a few options for those who could no longer see the show they paid for, including freshman Julia Homza of Tinton Falls who had tickets to see “Phantom of the Opera.” 

“They gave options to buy tickets in September and kind of an early admission type thing and I think there was a discount for it, but we had the option to either push it to then or get refunds and buy tickets with the refunded money,” Homza said.

To atone for the closing of Broadway, BroadwayHD, the online streaming service for Broadway shows organized by non-profit theatre enthusiasts recently implemented a seven-day free trial. 

Aside from BroadwayHD, the “Hamilton” film will stream on Disney+ beginning on July 3rd, which is 15 months before its original release date. 

Sophomore Quinn McManus of Fair Haven says she is excited for the release of the “Hamilton” film and believes that it is the perfect watch for this time.

“Hamilton being released on Disney+ was such an amazing thing because Hamilton is really a gift for anyone who watches it, so it makes the days go by faster waiting for it to come out,” McManus said.

On the other hand, Homza believes that though the film is going to be great, it is not the same as live theatre.