As millions of Americans are hunkered down in their homes in order to stop the spread of the virus, large gatherings that involve bringing at least hundreds of people into an enclosed area are off the table. That’s why sports leagues, churches, movie theaters, and other such organizations are all but shuttered these days, as are more small-scale operations like bars and restaurants.
What’s more, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States now appears to be New York City, as the Big Apple is effectively shut down.
The organizers of the Tony Awards — originally scheduled for June 7 from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall — have decided that now is not the right time to have such an event planned, especially as the timeline for how long the nationwide coronavirus quarantine will last.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Tonys noted that safety is the organization’s top priority right now.
“The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans is of the utmost importance to us. We will announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again. We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so.”
So far, an alternate date has not been announced. The Broadway League, the American Theater Wing, and the CBS television network — which has broadcast the annual awards for the past 42 years — will be working together to come up with a new schedule.
The move to shut down the Tonys was not unexpected. Already, Broadway is closed, with theaters across the city having suspended productions until further notice.
Initially, Broadway’s theaters had closed, with the expectation that they would reopen on April 13. However, that timeline now seems premature, and the Broadway League is looking at extending it.
In addition to long-running, ongoing shows that are now shuttered, a lengthy list of new shows that were to debut this spring has been postponed. Similarly, a large number of shows currently in development have had their own production pushed back until further notice.
The postponement of the Tony Awards is the latest in the ever-growing list of major events that have been pushed back due to the novel coronavirus. Perhaps the biggest event to have felt the pinch of the virus is the 2020 Summer Olympics — originally scheduled a few weeks from now in Tokyo — which have been postponed until next year, according to The Inquisitr.