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Biz braves blizzard unscathed

Snow brings few industry disruptions in northeast

The entertainment industry’s fears of severe weather disruptions melted over the weekend, with Gotham largely unfazed by the snowstorm that dumped as much as three feet on other sections of the northeast and caused several deaths.

Concern had reached a fever pitch on Friday, as the anticipated travel headaches that accompany a blizzard was seen to have potential fallout in attendance at events beyond New York including the BAFTAs in London and the Grammys in L.A.

In the end, however, most shows went on without a hitch. All Broadway productions performed as scheduled, and no cancellations were reported at Fashion Week, which began Feb. 7. The Feb. 8 filming of the finale of “Project Runway,” a catwalk showcase of contestants’ work staged as part of Fashion Week, also went on as planned.

The New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting suspended filming permits for Saturday, but the Feb. 9 episode of “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Justin Bieber, proceeded as scheduled. Usually tickets to an “SNL” taping are handed out the morning of the show to the hopeful aud members waiting on the outdoor standby line at Rockefeller Center, but in this case they were doled out Friday night before the worst of the snowstorm hit in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Despite fears, no disruptions in attendance or performance schedule were expected at the Feb. 10 Grammy ceremony, according to reps for the music industry kudofest.

Attendance at the BAFTAs also seemed unaffected. In the most public example of touch-and-go travel plans, Jessica Chastain had been set to fly to the U.K. soon after her appearance in the final perf of Broadway play “The Heiress” Feb. 9. Flight cancellations all across the northeast on Friday and Saturday made travel of any kind iffy, but Chastain made it across the Atlantic nonetheless.

Movie theater closures in the Northeast were responsible for an estimated loss of some 10% in cinema box office. Still, top pic “Identity Thief” rang in more than $35 million. Any fallout at the Broadway B.O. won’t become clear until last week’s total grosses, including the weekend’s perfs, are compiled and released Monday afternoon.

Some parts of New York City reportedly got more than a foot of snow, with 11 inches measured in Central Park. Public transportation in the city was largely unaffected, although some commuter rail service beyond the five boroughs remained suspended Sunday.

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