NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy has forced many cultural institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region to close their doors and cancel performances this week.
In New York, Broadway shows that perform on Mondays have canceled their scheduled evening performances. That includes Annie, Chicago, Evita, and Mamma Mia!, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Dan Cooney, who plays Bill Austin in Mamma Mia! says the storm gives the actor a reprieve to finalize plans for the Encore Musical Theatre's fifth season. Cooney opened the 126-seat professional theater in 2009 in his hometown of Dexter.
"There have been no major issues for me personally with the hurricane," Cooney said during a phone interview from his apartment in New York's upper west side.
Cooney said producers canceled performances of Mamma Mia! through at least Wednesday.
"There's no public transportation running, so there's no way for the cast to get to work, much less have an audience show up," he said.
Cooney said he was scheduled to fly into Dexter this week to visit with his family and rendezvous with his wife and fellow actress, Jessica Grove, for a musical fundraiser at Dexter High School.
"She's been watching the news and calling to make sure I am OK," he said. "I have plenty of food and water and a candle, so I'm prepared to camp out until Tuesday night, when everything comes back together again. I expect I'll be back to work by Thursday."
Cooney said he doesn't expect to see much flooding or damage from the storm, which is currently forecasted to make landfall late Monday night in Atlantic City, N.J.
"I'm sure Halloween will be canceled for the kids in this area, which is unfortunate," he said. "I'm prepared to sit back, watch some TV and do work for the Encore."
The last time New York saw so many canceled performances was in August 2011, when Hurricane Irene threatened the Eastern Seaboard.