With one of the worst blizzards in history hitting New York City yesterday, the Broadway League announced that all Broadway shows on Saturday would be closed. They announced this following the Mayor's order of a travel ban to and from the city.
While the announcement was certainly the right call, given the horrific conditions. The announcement was made at 12:50 pm, roughly an hour before matinees were scheduled to begin. That means actors in these shows had either already braved the weather to get to their theatres in time for call or were on their way. It also meant that ticket holders, who hadn't seen a cancellation announcement yet, were on their way as well.
So the question has to be asked, why wasn't the call made earlier? It's not like the weather was all of the sudden going to improve. If the safety of the performers and audience members was the first priority, why couldn't the call have been made in the morning, hours before anyone had to leave their home?
If you're ready to blame Actor's Equity for something like this, sources as telling me that AEA was working all morning to get the announcement to come out sooner. So the ire should be directed at the Broadway League.
I understand that closing down Broadway isn't exactly like closing high school. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake among other factors. But that doesn't mean that call couldn't have come hours earlier.
Thankfully as of this morning, we haven't heard of any actors getting injured commuting to and from their theaters, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have happened.
I certainly hope that in future, The Broadway League will make these announcements earlier, to truly keep our Broadway community safe.