Hurricane Irene: All Broadway Performances Canceled This Weekend

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On Friday afternoon, The Broadway League issued an official statement saying that all Broadway performances in New York City had been canceled this weekend.

"As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of the incoming storm, all Broadway performances on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th will be cancelled," the League said.

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Paul Libin, chairman of The Broadway League, said in a statement, "The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone's primary concern. As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation of Hurricane Irene, all performances will be cancelled on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th."

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This marks the largest city-wide theater industry shutdown since the 2001 terror attacks in New York City. Several major Off-Broadway shows have also been listed as "canceled."

Earlier on Friday, The Broadway League and The Off-Broadway League said that Broadway shows scheduled for the weekend would go on as planned. Hours later, a flurry of cancellations began to surface, including Disney's The Lion King and Mary Poppins productions and War Horse.

Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana's weekend shows have also been nixed due to the impending hurricane. "The weekend performances of Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil at Radio City Music Hall ... are cancelled due to the expected exrteme weather conditions and transit service shutdown," the statement read.

David Rooney in New York contributed to this report.

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