Comedy clubs sue NYC, NY state over COVID-19 shut downs

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A group of city comedy clubs and small theaters have sued Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo for coronavirus restrictions that have caused their venues to remain shut while other businesses have reopened in recent weeks.

In the Manhattan federal court suit, clubs including The SoHo Playhouse, Triad, The Players Theater and the New York Comedy Club, accuse the state and city of imposing lockdown restrictions arbitrarily.

“The state continues to govern impartially and arbitrarily by allowing malls, casinos, churches, movie theaters, restaurants, gyms … bowling alleys, ‘Saturday Night Live’, schools and colleges in the state to open, yet small venue theaters in Manhattan continue to be shut down,” the suit states.

The clubs argue the coronavirus infection rate in Manhattan has remained under 1 percent for months, but despite the flattened curve they’re unable to earn a living by operating their clubs because of the restrictions.

“Whatever latitude for constitutionally questionable orders may have existed when the pandemic was new, there is no longer legal justification for prohibiting people from earning a living if they work in or own what a governor deems a non-essential business,” the suit states.

The clubs are seeking a judge to strike down executive orders barring them from holding shows and unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for the City Law Department referred The Post to New York State officials, who did not immediately respond.

In a statement to the New York Times, Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi said he’s lost track of “frivolous suits filed against us” for actions taken to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“We are moving heaven and earth to contain this virus and we know some people are unhappy, but New York continues to have one of the lowest infection rates in the nation, and better to be unhappy than sick or worse,” he said.

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