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New York Bundles Up as Winter Storm Slams East Coast

Variety logo Variety 3/14/2017 Gordon Cox
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With a winter storm pounding the East Coast and forcing school and road closures all across the Northeast, New York City is, despite some disruptions, largely open for business — at least for the moment.

Schools were closed in the city, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority shut down its Metro-North service and above-ground subway trains, and express service subways were suspended. But Tuesday morning, as an icy mix of sleet and snow swept across the five boroughs, the local impact of what’s been dubbed Winter Storm Stella was downgraded by the Weather Service to a likely accumulation of four to eight inches, vs. the 18 to 20 inches that had been predicted.

Soon thereafter, the Broadway community leapt at the chance to remind theatergoers that all regularly scheduled shows planned to remain open Tuesday night, from “Hamilton” to “The Lion King” to “Wicked.” “For visitors who are staying in hotels and can’t get home, it’s a great time to see a show,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. “Chicago” and “Waitress” offered one-night-only ticket deals.

Broadway shows rarely cancel performances due to weather, usually only doing so when there are wide-spread shutdowns in public transportation. Still, what with treacherous roads and the cancellation of more than 7,500 flights (and counting) across the eastern seaboard, ticket cancellations were bound to happen, making Tuesday evening a good night for locals to try to snag a suddenly-empty seat at “Hamilton.” (Ticket holders unable to make it to their shows were directed to their point of purchase for exchange or refunds.)

Activity didn’t stop in other sectors of the city’s entertainment industry, as well. Kaufman Studios, for instance, remained opened, although most of its productions are on hiatus and incoming pilot productions haven’t been assigned stages yet. Although New York City seemed to get a reprieve from the worst of the winter storm, up to two feet were still expected in other areas.

More to come…

Oriana Schwindt and Brent Lang contributed to this report.

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