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David Mirvish stands on the stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre in this 2007 photo. Mirvish Productions has pushed back the start of its new season until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Canadian Press

Mirvish Productions, Toronto’s biggest commercial theatre company, is postponing the beginning of its new season until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, producer David Mirvish announced that he intends to present all the shows previously announced as part of his subscription season – but that he will start that season in January instead of September.

Mirvish’s team of producers have spent recent weeks rescheduling the season to start at a time when mass gatherings may more plausibly be permitted again by public health officials. “[A]n entire season of shows takes a lot of planning and coordination with hundreds and hundreds of theatre professionals from around the world, so I believe it is to everyone’s benefit to make this change at this time,” he said in a release.

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Mirvish said he believed that leaders and health officials would find a way to get the “world back to health” – and that he hoped that would happen “sooner rather than later.”

If theatres are able to open before January, Mirvish said his theatre company would restart its long-running Canadian production of Come From Away, the popular Newfoundland-set musical by the local composer/lyricist team of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, in the fall or over the holidays. However, the producer struck a note of caution, making clear his theatres would remained closed for as long as it is recommended by public health officials.

“[W]e will not resume performances until we have been given clear directions from the public health authorities that it is safe to do so,” he said in his statement. “If that should mean we won’t be able to open until later than January, we will delay longer.”

The new Mirvish season includes the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals Love Never Dies and Jesus Christ Superstar; a new British drama called Pressure by David Haig; the North American premiere of the jukebox musical & Juliet; a stage adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express; and the Tony Award-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

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