Broadway cancels performances due to COVID cases
Many Broadway shows announced plans this week to cancel performances following COVID-19 cases among cast or crew members.
Driving the news: The cancellations come as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising across the country as the Omicron variant gains a bigger foothold in the U.S.
- New York is bracing for another coronavirus surge, with a single-day record 21,000 cases reported yesterday.
- All 41 Broadway theaters in New York City require guests to provide proof they are fully vaccinated and wear masks to attend performances.
Why it matters: Broadway shows are a vital part of New York City, creating about 97,000 jobs and contributing $14.7 billion to the city's economy in the 2018-2019 season, according to the Broadway League.
- A missed performance for a show that grosses $1 million a week would cost about $125,000, the New York Times reports. Weekends, when shows are most full, would lose more.
- But cancellations now are especially painful because Broadway traditionally sees an attendance spike during the holiday season, according to the Times.
State of play: Shows such as “Tina,” a musical about Tina Turner, canceled performances from Friday to Monday due to COVID-19 cases.
- "Hamilton," one of the first Broadway shows to reopen in September, canceled its Wednesday through Sunday night shows due to a breakthrough of COVID-19 cases.
- On Friday, "MJ the Musical" announced that as a result of multiple positive test results within the company, all performances through Dec. 26 would be canceled.
- Other shows such as "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Jagged Little Pill," "Ain't Too Proud," "Freestyle Love Supreme" and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" also canceled performances this week.
Also: "The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes" also had to cancel all of its remaining shows in 2021 due to COVID-19 cases. All tickets for the show will be fully refunded.
Flashback: In September, many Broadway shows like "Wicked" and "The Lion King" returned after 18 months of going dark due to the pandemic. It was the longest shutdown in Broadway history.
- Broadway hit "Aladdin" announced in September that it canceled all future shows for two weeks because of a breakthrough of COVID-19 cases among cast members.