You know how they say “the show must go on”?

Well, not when bedbugs are biting the actors.

A theater company has cancelled a month-long run of The Balcony by Jean Genet after the company said bedbugs were found at the Arclight Theater at 152 West 71st Street. Some of the bugs had even bitten the performers backstage, according to a release from the Horizon Theatre Rep, which was putting on the play.

Update, 10/21: We’ve been contacted by anonymous commenters claiming that the bedbug allegations are false. We’ll be checking on the claims.

Ticketholders received refunds, and the company says it is looking for a new venue. Here’s the release:

“Horizon Theatre Rep’s production of “The Balcony” by Jean Genet, which was scheduled to be presented at The Arclight Theatre, 151 West 71st Street, October 11 to November 4, has been canceled following the discovery of bedbugs backstage on the eve of its opening.

The problem was discovered as the cast was preparing for its final tech dress rehearsal on Wednesday, October 10.  Members of the cast were bitten and the discovery sent a shock through the company, shattering its morale.

Efforts were made to salvage the production by attempting to restart the play after a hiatus, during which time the space could be certified bug-free and brush-up rehearsals could be held.  However, a delayed run was ultimately not possible because the Arclight Theater was rented for another production beginning November 8.

Refunds have been made to all ticket buyers.

Horizon Theatre Rep is currently in the process of  negotiating with a new director and a new theatre space for “The Balcony”. The company will make further announcements in due course.”

NEWS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. NikFromNYC says:

      The effective worldwide DDT ban killed millions. What’s a bedbug or two to UWS environmental hypochondriacs?

    2. Scooter Stan says:

      OBVIOUSLY those theater people, being so au courant, did not know the ancient and time-tested remedy for bed bugs.
      NO, not Roscoe, the bed-bug-sniffing-beagle.
      Rather it’s an incantation. It requires all participants to don hooded bathrobes, place the hoods over their heads, and kneel in a circle before 13 flickering tea-candles.
      Then, in unison, they chant these ancient words 13 times:
      NITE, NITE
      DO NOT BITE.

      And if that doesn’t work, call Willard (Mitt)Romney. Surely the candidate has a plan, just as effective as his tax plan, WHICH CAN BE SEEN HERE:

    3. Cato says:

      It’s not the first time a new production has been delayed until they can get the bugs out.

      • angry says:

        There was no show to delay. No director. Actors quitting. Bed buffs would be the least worry of this show.

    4. hthecgh says:

      There is a lot of spin in Horizon Theatre Rep’s press release.

      Yes, there were bed bugs, however theater management took care of the problem in a professional and timely manner: sending the productions costumes at their own expense to be professionally dry cleaned, bringing in an exterminator and determining within a few days that the theater was bug-free. While this would admittedly be a delay in the production, it was not long enough to keep the production from going on at all.

      Perhaps you should talk directly to one of the actors from the production to learn the real story – the one that includes not just bed bugs and the extermination in a timely fashion by theatre management, but also the one that includes the walk out of 6 actors, a stage manager and the director. That might shed some light on the “negotiating with a new director and a new theatre space for THE BALCONY.”