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Shea's asks supporters when they would be comfortable returning for live events

Posted at 12:25 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 12:36:43-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When would you feel comfortable returning to a theatre for a live performance?

That's what a survey sent this week to subscribers and supporters of Shea's Performing Arts Center is seeking to find out.

"Your invaluable input will help us understand how the community's interest in attending future arts and culture events, how the community perceives Shea's as a nonprofit institution, and help prioritize our future goals," President of Shea's Michael Murphy said in a letter seeking feedback.

Shea's has been closed due to the pandemic since last March, when Governor Andrew Cuomo shutdown all live performance venues as the COVID-19 virus was beginning to spread. Shea's was two days into a six-day run of the touring Broadway musical 'Hello, Dolly!' when it was forced to go dark.

In July, Murphy and Albert Nocciolino, Shea's Broadway partner and producer, were hopeful the downtown landmark could reopen in December and present a shortened but packed slate of shows that combined the remainder of the 2019-2020 season with the upcoming season. But any hope of that was put to rest in October, a week after the Broadway League announced all theatres on Broadway in New York City would be closed until at least June 2021.

The extended shutdown has forced Shea's to layoff staff, and has dealt a crippling blow to restaurants in the theatre district that depend on events at the 3,000 seat 'Wonder Theatre' to stay afloat.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced indoor family entertainment centers can reopen March 26 and amusement parks can reopen April 9 - both at reduced capacity. But so far the state has not said when theatres can plan to reopen their doors.