The show won’t go on: Broadway closures

With 15 shows, including notable classics such as Phantom of the Opera, Death of a Salesman and The Music Man, announcing their final bows, Broadway is suffering.

Despite reopening from an 18-month closure over a year ago, even Broadway’s grandeur cannot surmount the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus is struggling to recover. Decreased tourism, depleted savings and the shifting face of American entertainment has succeeded in extinguishing many of the lights previously dazzling a street so bright it was named “The Great White Way.”

Renowned internationally, Broadway is heavily dependent economically on tourism, and, thus, with an estimated 1.3 million fewer tourists visiting New York City in 2021 than in 2019, according to, Broadway has yet to recuperate. The result: increased ticket prices and the closure of beloved classics.

With the average ticket price estimated at $113.29, according to, many classics are too expensive for regulars who are likely to have already seen them. Paired with a lack of tourists, many classics have struggled to break even.

Additionally, shows originating from movies or derived from pop-culture have also failed to attract enough of a local audience, and thus productions such as Beetlejuice the Musical, Almost Famous and KPOP are closing prematurely.

WHS Theatre Department Director and Drama Teacher Daniel Devlin emphasized how shifts in public sentiment due to the pandemic have led to closures. “People go to Broadway, or to films, to see something that’s more escapist,” said Devlin. “A lot of the shows that are on Broadway right now are serious pieces that just don’t have an audience, or honestly, shows they should have never gotten there to begin with.

Devlin added, “That’s why there are two or three incredibly famous award-winning shows that are revivals that are closing before they even have a one-month run because nobody wants to spend that much money to see a show they already know or to see something that is just too stressful and mentally challenging,” said Devlin.

Broadway has great significance to many, and, thus, as can be imagined, these closures are disheartening to theater lovers. WHS junior and actor in numerous WHS theater productions, Jordan Mirrione, explained the significance of Broadway for him. “Broadway means a lot to me,” said Mirrione. “It’s a place where art and passion come to life on stage. The energy and magic of Broadway is like nothing else.”

Broadway is much more than just a street. It is the lifeblood of its neighborhood and an international hub of the performing arts. These closures come as a great loss.