Broadway producers and trade organizations are busy trying to determine whether the heavy rains and wind associated with Hurricane Floyd will cause any disruption to theatre schedules today and tomorrow. So far, it appears that shows will go on, but industry executives are keeping an eye on the storm as it develops.
Hurricane Floyd is currently 30-35 miles north of Wilmington, NC, and is moving N/NE at approximately 23 mph. The Category 2 hurricane hit the Carolina coast earlier today. The storm's full effect is expected to be felt in NYC sometime around 2 AM on Sept. 17.
"It's really a question of whether people can get in to the theatre," one source said. "So far, it just seems like a lot of rain."
Peter Entin at the Shubert Organization said there are no plans to close any shows due to the weather, but there are contingencies for patrons who absolutely can't make a show.
"People should call (212) 239-6210, which is our customer service line'" Entin said. Shubert deals with such requests "past date," meaning that patrons who are unable to see a show for unavoidable reasons, such as truly inclement weather, can call in to arrange to see the show at another time, according to ticket availability.
At this time, the League of American Theatres and Producers is still determining if there are any closings or special procedures being implemented by Broadway producers.
A source at Actors' Equity said that there didn't seem to be any plans to adjust schedules at the current time and that the focus seemed to be whether Broadway patrons and actors will actually be able to get in to their respective theatres. While there are no immediate safety issues, situations could develop later.
A spokesman for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told Playbill On Line that while the mayor has asked commissioners to allow non essential city employees to go home early today, there were no plans to limit transportation in the Broadway theatre district and that shows would probably go on.
"We are having a noon briefing from the Office of Emergency Management Command Center (OEM) which is at the World Trade Center," the spokesman said. "It will be carried live on New York 1."
Playbill On-Line has learned that shows at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, are not affected by the storm. Spokespeople for both theatres told Playbill On-Line that shows would be performed there as scheduled. The worst part of the storm is expected to be gone from the DC area by the afternoon.
-- By Murdoch McBride