The Roundabout Theatre Company will resume performances of Side Man and You Never Can Tell July 28, one week after the collapse of a construction elevator on New York's W. 43rd Street paralyzed Times Square. But the theatre cancelled three more performances of its hit Cabaret revival, July 28 and 29 (matinee and evening).
Roundabout received its first piece of good news in a week early on Monday, July 27, when the city reopened Broadway and Seventh Avenue to traffic. The area had been barred to vehicles and pedestrians since July 21, when a construction accident at the half-built Conde Nast building closed scores of businesses, including the Roundabout's productions of Cabaret, Side Man and You Never Can Tell.
The Broadway Side Man and Off-Broadway You Never Can Tell are housed in the Criterion Center on Seventh Avenue between 44th and 45th streets.
Also canceled were the July 21-27 performances of the Off-Broadway musical Smoke on the Mountain, which is housed in the W. 44th Street Lamb's Theatre. No announcement has yet been made about performances July 28 and beyond.
The fate of Cabaret, located in the Kit Kat Klub on W. 43rd Street, only yards from the disaster, remains in question. The stretch of 43rd Street between Seventh Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas -- the center of the clean-up effort -- remains off-limits, as does 42nd Street between Fifth and Seventh avenues, and the Avenue of the Americas between 42nd and 45th streets. On July 27 an object believed to be a plank or beam was found to have fallen onto the theatre. There were no details immediately available about whether the theatre was damaged. The Mayor's Office said there was no way of knowing when 43rd Street or Cabaret might see life again, and Bryan-Brown said an announcement regarding the rest of this week's performances of the show would wait until Tuesday.
The Roundabout continues to deny rumors that Cabaret is in danger of closing permanently. Bryan-Brown told PBOL such reports were premature. "It's not even being contemplated at this point," he said, adding the same for the idea of moving the show to another venue. However, he said, "If the street were to be closed for an extended time, eventually the reality of that would have to be faced." Meanwhile, Artistic Director Todd Haimes told Variety (July 27) "We're going to keep Cabaret open no matter what it takes."
Haimes is not mincing words about the effect the Times Square construction accident is going to have on his company's business. "I think it's going to be devastating," he told Playbill On-Line. "Though it's hard to answer the question completely, because we don't know the timetable for the Kit Kat Klub yet."
Haimes said the cancellations have cost the theatre some $500,000 in refunded tickets (as of July 23); $280,000 of that loss coming from Cabaret, the Tony-winning revival which is arguable the hottest show in town. "The costs don't stop," with the performances, said Haimes. "We still have to pay the bills -- the utilities, the rentals." He said he couldn't recall a stoppage of operations as severe in the history of the Roundabout Theatre.
The New York Daily News reported that Roundabout's insurance policy may not cover the mounting losses from the closed shows. Bryan-Brown said Roundabout has not yet approached the owners of the damaged building to recover costs because, "It's premature until we know how much it all will cost."
Those seeking refunds or exchanges on tickets to Cabaret, You Never Can Tell and Side Man are instructed to call (212) 719-1300.
Town Hall and Broadway's Belasco Theatre have also been closed to business, though the latter theatre is currently dark.
All other Broadway theatres and the TKTS discount ticket booth remain open. But because some side streets around Times Square remain closed to vehicular traffic, theatregoers to any of the surrounding theatres should plan for delays.
The calamity, which sent tons of metal scaffolding and debris hurtling down upon Broadway and 43rd Street, is begin called the worst construction accident in a decade. During the past few days, workers have been hanging a dark net around the Conde Nast building in an effort to contain the site and prevent more scaffolding and work materials from falling to the street. City officials had hoped the 700-foot, nylon net- described as a "huge shower curtain in the sky"--would be in place by Sunday, but the difficult work has taken longer than expected. Officials could not say when the job would be complete.