Perhaps the publicist for Boston Court Pasadena best summed up the fear and frustration everyone — everywhere — has been feeling over the past few weeks:
“Damn You, Coronavirus!” silently blared the press release emailed from the venerable theater on North Mentor Avenue to the local media Thursday afternoon.
Like most things associated with COVID-19, a deadly virus for which no vaccine is available and recently deemed responsible for a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Boston Court’s news was not good. The theater announced that it was putting a stop to its current production of “Passion” until April 2.
On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has recommended that events involving 250 people or more be banned, just as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has said people should not participate in events involving 50 or more people.
The Pasadena Playhouse, with its next production “Aladdin,” presented by the Pasadena Civic Ballet set for April 17, and the productions after that, “Holocaust Remembrance Reading: The Diary of Anne Frank,” set for April 20, has not yet announced any cancellations.
Although Sierra Madre Playhouse has posted a statement saying “All performances will take place as scheduled,” theater officials have canceled “Charlotte’s Web,” originally set to open March 30.
Due to the government regulations surrounding COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of patrons and members, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ upcoming concert “The California Sound,” scheduled for April 4 and 5 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale is being postponed to a date in September to be determined.
A number of other musical, entertainment groups and cultural organizations have also decided to postpone their currently scheduled events until later this month, April or summer.
The Pasadena Symphony, for instance, posted on its website that, in response to the directive by the county Department of Public Health to ban gatherings of 250 or more through March 31, that it has rescheduled its March 21 “Mozart & McGegan” concert for May 23, wrote Pasadena Symphony Association CEO Lora Unger.
But, Unger wrote, “the Pasadena POPS Summer Series at the LA County Arboretum, commencing on June 20, will proceed as scheduled.”
Last Thursday, organizers of South Pasadena’s Eclectic Fest said the popular annual event has been canceled. It was scheduled for April 25, but with so much uncertainty due to the current circumstances organizers felt the wisest option was to call it off. They hope to reschedule later in the year.
In Arcadia, Matt Denny’s Ale House has canceled all of its musical acts and postponed its annual St. Baldrick event in which people have their heads shaved for charity.
“We feel like it is in the best interest of the community and are following along with some standards that are being set to limit large gatherings,” the club’s owners wrote in an email.
In Pasadena, A Noise Within’s publicist that they are canceling current performances of “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Winter’s Tale” through the end of April.
HISTORYcon, a convention put on by the History Channel and featuring stars of many of its hit shows, such as “Ancient Aliens,” was scheduled to open at the Pasadena Convention Center on April 3, but has been canceled.
The Pasadena Museum of History is putting off its annual Happy Birthday Pasadena celebration on June 28 to late summer or early fall, wrote museum spokeswoman Jeannette Bovard.
It was with an abundance of caution that the Pasadena Senior Center announced the popular facility would be operating on a limited basis.
“Certain programs that allow for social distancing of three feet between each person will continue for now. These include weekday hot lunches, vital social services and certain classes and activities,” according to a message issued Friday by Senior Center Executive Director Akila Gibbs.
Classes and activities that have been put on hold are all clubs, a caregiver support group, tap dancing, international folk dance, open line dancing, ballroom dancing, ballroom dance party, Ready/Set/Bank, Braille class, Rediscovering Hope, tai chi, Alexander technique, chair aerobics, Scrabble, chess, Bolly X Lit, sewing, learning Spanish through acting and social media/smart phones class.
“Older adults, especially those who are 80+ and/or have compromised immune systems, are most vulnerable for contracting the virus,” the message states.
But it was Descanso Gardens that offered possibly the most appealing of the many alternatives offered by frazzled impresarios, directors and executive directors.
“In response to this serious crisis, Descanso has decided to operate as an outdoor-only venue until the situation is safe again. … All indoor programming and events will be canceled or re-imagined as outdoor events,” wrote Descanso Gardens Executive Director Juliann Rooke.
Fittingly, “Descanso Gardens,” Rooke notes, “is a place of reflection and nature. We hope you will find peace here amid all the troubling news around coronavirus (COVID-19).”