Frozen is done for good on Broadway. The hit musical, which launched in March, 2018, at the great St. James Theater, isn’t returning to New York City. Once Broadway reopens, which we speculate won’t be until 2021, Disney’s Frozen won’t be back to entertain families from all over the world.
The Closing of Frozen
The St. James Theater was home to 825 official showings of Frozen. It was a huge hit. Due to the financial losses over the coronavirus, the Broadway production isn’t returning. It’s the first major musical to close for good on Broadway due to the coronavirus. In a statement, Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer Disney Theatrical Productions, explained the surprising decision:
In the summer of 2013 when Frozen began its road to Broadway, two things were unimaginable: that we’d soon have five productions worldwide, and a global pandemic would so alter the world economy that running three Disney shows on Broadway would become untenable. The extraordinary contribution of Broadway’s original company, plus those who have joined more recently cannot be overstated. Frozen, like all shows, is wholly dependent on those who create and perform them but this was an uncommonly close and talented group and they’ll be missed. Finally, I have to acknowledge our incredible audiences; night after night, the fans showed us how much they loved this show and we look forward to seeing them at Frozen around the world.
The Show Will Eventually Go On
It’s surprising news because Frozen is such a well-known moneymaker. The production, which cost $35 million in total to produce, has made over $150 million at the St. James Theater. Over 1.3 million people have attended one of the Broadway performances. The Frozen musical has toured the country and the world, which it will continue to do so in the distant future. Productions of the show are already planned for next year in Australia, Germany, Japan, and the UK. To save some cash, the global tours will use elements from the broadway production.
A Sign of What’s to Come?
Following the closing of Broadway’s Frozen, people in the Broadway community are concerned. How many more jobs will be lost? How many more productions canceled? If Frozen can’t last, where will that leave other productions? Mary McColl, the Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association, is calling for help from the state government:
“Today’s news should be an all hands on deck moment for Governor Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio and Congress. The arts and entertainment sector drives the economy of New York, just like it does in cities and towns across the country. Decisions made in the days and weeks ahead will shape the future of the arts sector for years to come. Public officials at all levels must think much more boldly about supporting the arts or our entire economy will be slower to recover.”
What’s the Latest on Broadway?
Broadway was officially shut down on March 12th. Theater owners are hoping to return in September, but even that date sounds unrealistic for crowds to gather for entertainment. We shall see, though. Everyone is in the dark right now on when Broadway will return. Over $100 million in ticket losses is expected from the closure. Most major Broadway productions are expected to return, unlike Frozen. Yearly, Broadway earns over $1.8 billion a year, provides a ton of jobs, and brings in major tourism. Without Broadway, it’s a major hit for New York City, its theater owners, and struggling artists.
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