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Broadway looks to restart on Monday after Irene

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway planned to reopen Monday after Tropical Storm Irene forced theaters to scrap a potentially lucrative late-summer weekend.

“As of now, Broadway performances will play on Monday as scheduled, unless government authorities request otherwise,” said Elisa Shevitz, of the trade group The Broadway League.

When the threat of Irene prompted city officials to shutter the public transportation system, theater producers threw in the towel for matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday. Depending on the show, theaters lost revenue for up to four performances.

It was the first time Broadway has shut down for an emergency since a city-wide blackout in 2003. It came as the city is flush with tourists and with schools mostly still out. The two dozen shows performed last week grossed just over $20 million and attracted some 217,000 theatergoers.

While most Broadway shows traditionally run on a Tuesday-to-Sunday schedule, lately a number of shows have played Monday night, including “Chicago,” “Hair,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Rock of Ages,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Though both of Disney’s popular shows on Broadway — “Mary Poppins” and “The Lion King” — were previously scheduled to be off on Monday, they plan to be ready on Tuesday.

“The decision to suspend this weekend’s performances of ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Lion King’ was made for one paramount reason: the safety of our audiences, casts, crews and orchestras,” said Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions. “Now we’re just eager to get back to doing what we love — putting on shows — and are scheduled to resume Tuesday night.”

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