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Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban present onstage during the 73rd Annual Tony Awards, in New York, in a June 9, 2019, file photo.SARA KRULWICH/The New York Times News Service

The annual Tony Awards ceremony celebrating the best in Broadway theatre was postponed indefinitely on Wednesday, the latest big cultural event to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards ceremony had been scheduled to take place in New York City on June 7 and was to have been aired on CBS.

Broadway theatres were closed two weeks ago as part of the effort to contain the spread of the disease in what has become the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak.

Organizers said in a statement that the Tony Awards “will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date. … The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans is of the utmost importance to us.

“We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so,” the statement added.

The Tony Awards for plays, musicals, directors and performers are regarded as the highest honours in the American theatre world.

Multiple cultural events involving large gatherings have been cancelled or postponed in recent weeks, including France’s Cannes film festival, the Glastonbury and Coachella music festivals in Britain and California, respectively, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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