BET network plans starry show as Broadway extends shutdown

From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to cancelling events, here’s a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.

TV NETWORK BET PLANS STARRY SHOW

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DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia and Melvin Crispell III are slated to perform in a special BET show that will assist people of colour in dealing with the coronavirus.

The "Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort" broadcast special will air April 22 at 8 p.m. EDT.

The special will be hosted by singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J and actress Regina Hall. The special will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources.

"Every day, there are new reports of how this pandemic is killing African Americans at much higher rates than other communities," said Scott Mills, BET president. "BET is using all of our resources – our capital, our media platforms, our relationships with the creative community, sponsors, businesses and charitable organizations to support our community in this time of crisis."

Celebrity guests will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources during this unprecedented time, and in partnership with United Way, proceeds are being donated to African American communities severely impacted by COVID-19.

BROADWAY EXTENDS ITS SHUTDOWN

Broadway producers have extended the suspension of all shows on the Great White Way, saying musical and plays will stay shuttered through June 7 in accordance with latest medical guidance.

Broadway abruptly closed on March 12 and announced plans to reopen the week of April 13. But that timetable was increasingly looking too optimistic as the city saw an alarming surge in deaths.

"Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers and many other dedicated professionals." said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.

Already some shows scheduled to open this spring have abandoned plans of ever returning, including "Hangmen" and a revival of Edward Albee’s "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Others — like revivals of "Caroline, or Change" and "Birthday Candles" — have been moved to the fall.

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