As the world watches the presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump come election night Tuesday, so will theaters from Los Angeles to Broadway, which are canceling shows partly to encourage voter participation.
Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City has canceled its Tuesday show of “Vicuña,” which opened Oct. 30 and follows a brash New York tycoon who is the Republican presidential nominee (sound familiar?).
“The performance was canceled to prevent scheduling conflicts for audiences who may still be voting,” read the announcement from Center Theatre Group. The organization has not typically canceled shows on election day but felt moved to do so considering the political themes of “Vicuña.”
While CTG’s next production in its Mark Taper Forum downtown, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” won’t begin previews until the day after the election, the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood will present “The Model Apartment” and “Icebergs” on Tuesday, as scheduled.
In New York, the shows taking the night off include “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Cats,” “Chicago,” “The Color Purple,” “The Encounter,” “The Front Page,” “The Humans,” “Kinky Boots,” “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” “On Your Feet!” Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “School of Rock” “Something Rotten!” “Waitress” and “Wicked.”
Each Broadway show makes its own decision whether to go dark. Though some tout the choice as an effort to encourage voter participation, some of the closures are likely a matter of economics — the expectation being that so many would-be theater-goers would rather watch the drama of voting results on TV, at least this year.
Shows with strong ticket demand, including Disney’s “Aladdin” and “The Lion King,” however, as well as the mega-musical “Hamilton,” will play on Broadway as normal Tuesday night.
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1:20 p.m. This article was updated to provide more historical context for the theater closures.