Terrorist Attack at NYC's World Trade Center Shuts Down Bway Theatres

News   Terrorist Attack at NYC's World Trade Center Shuts Down Bway Theatres All Broadway theatres and box offices were closed today, Sept. 11, owing to a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The twin towers as they appeared after 9 AM (ET) Sept. 11, following deliberate attacks. Both towers later collapsed.
The twin towers as they appeared after 9 AM (ET) Sept. 11, following deliberate attacks. Both towers later collapsed. (Photo by Photo by Reuters/Peter Morgan)

All Broadway theatres and box offices were closed today, Sept. 11, owing to a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

A League of American Theatres and Producers spokesperson told Playbill On-Line Sept. 11, "everything is shut down for the day." A Tele-Charge operator told Playbill On-Line (12:39 PM) that Broadway ticket-holders could call Tele-Charge (212) 239-6200 later in the day and tomorrow to find out whether shows on Wednesday will be affected.

Jed Bernstein, president of the League of American Theatres and Producers, told Playbill On-Line at 9 PM that the Sept. 12 Wednesday matinees on Broadway would also be canceled. A decision regarding the Sept. 12 evening performances will be made in the early hours on Wednesday. "We're waiting to take our cue from the Mayor," said Bernstein. "If he calls for a return to normalcy, we wouldn't want to get in the way of that."

According to New York news radio station WINS - AM, two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers in lower Manhattan. Explosions caused both buildings to crumble. As of 11:35 AM, casualties were said to include 164 passengers aboard both planes (one from Boston to L.A., the other from Dulles airport to L.A.) who are presumed dead. Two other planes were hijacked, one of which crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC, the other in western Pennsylvania.

Theater Development Fund's offices are closed today. It could not be determined whether the lower Manhattan discount TKTS booth, located in the World Trade Center, was destroyed. As of 11:13 AM, the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers told Playbill On-Line The Vagina Monologues and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change are both closed for the day, though no statement has been made regarding other Off and Off-Off-Broadway theatres. Sources say, however, that it's likely any theatrical production taking place in lower Manhattan is canceled. One source in the area told Playbill On-Line, "All the bridges and tunnels are closed. There's no way to get out of the city. People are walking uptown saying that their buildings were just evacuated."

City Hall is currently in a state of "lock down," with only partial subway service into or out of Manhattan. All plane departures in the U.S. are currently halted.

The explosions caused a ripple effect in theatres across the nation with companies closing their doors in Washington, DC, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and other large urban areas. [See related stories.]

— By Robert Simonson
and David Lefkowitz