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Sarah Jessica Parker shares hopeful message as Broadway shuts down

The actress was set to star in "Plaza Suite" with husband Matthew Broderick next month before the shutdown.
/ Source: TODAY

Sarah Jessica Parker shared an upbeat message about counting the days "until the marquees are once again lit" after the Broadway theater industry announced Thursday it will be going on hiatus due to the threat of the coronavirus.

All plays and musicals will be suspended for at least 32 days due to the widening pandemic and limitations being placed on large gatherings.

Parker, who was set to star with husband Matthew Broderick in the upcoming Broadway revival of Neil Simon's comedy "Plaza Suite," wrote an uplifting message on Instagram after the shutdown was announced.

"Broadway doesn't stay quiet for long,'' she wrote. "We will be back.The Rialto will hum. Times Square will hustle and bustle. And we will be ready to swing open the doors of the beautiful Hudson Theatre and share an afternoon or evening together.

"We count the days until the marquees are once again lit. In the meantime, we think of all those affected and hope for everyone's good health."

Parker, 54, had been looking forward to performing with Broderick, 57, for just the second time in their long acting careers.

The "Sex and the City" star has a long history on Broadway after making her debut at 11 in the 1976 play "The Innocents" and then starring in a 1979 production of "Annie" at 14 before transitioning to movies. Her most recent Broadway performance was in "Once Upon a Mattress" in 1996, so "Plaza Suite" marks her return to the stage after 24 years.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Smith
Sarah Jessica Parker's Broadway career goes back to when she was a teen starring in a 1979 production of "Annie" before she handed over the lead role to Allison Smith in 1980. Marty Lederhandler / AP

The industry whose motto has always been "the show must go on" has joined the ranks of the sports world, television shows and theme parks when it comes to shutting down or removing live audiences in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"The Inheritance" Opening Night
Sarah Jessica Parker was set to star in "Plaza Suite" with husband Matthew Broderick starting April 12 before Broadway announced a shutdown due to the coronavirus. Jason Mendez / WireImage

The move to shutter Broadway came after New York state and city officials banned gatherings of more than 500 people. Major theater venues in Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have also gone on hiatus.

"The idea that our venerable, majestic houses are dark, and that there will be no lights on Broadway — I’m romanticizing, but that’s the heartbeat of the city, and to think that they’ve been forced into darkness is shocking,” Broadway star Patti LuPone told The New York Times. "I’m shocked that they took this tack, but also grateful they did, just to keep us healthy."