Blizzards Don't Stop Broadway: A History of Stormy Weather on the Great White Way

News   Blizzards Don't Stop Broadway: A History of Stormy Weather on the Great White Way
 
When it comes to snow storms, Broadway’s traditional attitude has been “the show must go on.” But there have been times when there has been so much white blanketing the Great White Way that the stages have stayed dark. Playbill.com takes a look back at Broadway's history of weathering storms of all kinds.

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February 13, 2014: All shows went on despite heavy snow, but producers of The Bridges of Madison County offered a special "Blizzard Bargain" of two tickets $35 each (plus a $2 facility fee) to anyone who could make their way to the musical’s box office.

February 8-9, 2013: A midwinter nor’easter similar to today’s collided with a mass of Canadian cold air to dump 11 inches of snow on New York City, and up to 30 inches in parts of Long Island and Connecticut. The storm affected Broadway and Off-Broadway on Friday and Saturday, but nearly all shows went on, with only one Off-Broadway show cancelling the Friday performance. Shows that were not sold out offered “snow day” ticket prices for those performances.

October 29, 2012: The one storm everyone on Broadway remembers with dread was the one that dropped no snow at all — the fall 2012 Hurricane Sandy that saw all shows canceled for three days straight. After the governor ordered the shutdown of trains and subways the evening of Oct. 28, the Broadway League canceled shows that evening. Cancelations extended to Monday and Tuesday Oct. 29 and 30, with all but five Broadway shows re-emerging after the storm had passed Oct. 31. Sandy was blamed for the deaths of at least 125 people in the United States, including 60 in New York and 34 in New Jersey.

December 26-27, 2010: Despite a 20-inch snowfall recorded in parts of Manhattan, no shows were canceled. February 26, 2010: Big snow, no cancelations. Among the more imaginative discounts, Memphis offered $26.50 to anyone who said mentioned the show’s leading character by saying “Huey sent me” at the box office.

March 2, 2009: A Monday night blizzard resulted in no cancelations among the handful of shows playing that night.

February 17, 2003: Another lucky Monday night blizzard caused The Phantom of the Opera to cancel its performance, but the few other shows with performances that night went on as scheduled. Things were still dicey on Tuesday, prompting some shows to offer “snow day” offers to exchange for a future date. Flower Drum Song offered either an exchange or a full refund that night.

January 8, 1996: Two feet of snow forced the shutdown of all but one Broadway show. Fran and Barry Weissler, producers of a revival of Grease (billed as Grease! for that production), took pity on the theatregoers stranded in the city and kept the lights on. For one night only, Grease!, then starring comedian Joe Piscopo as Vince Fontaine, had Broadway all to itself.

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