Dec 20, 2021 - COVID

Chicago theaters cancel holiday performances over COVID-19 concerns

A photo of a staged performance.
The Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker." Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

Multiple Chicago theaters canceled or postponed performances this weekend due to the new COVID-19 surge.

The casualties: Shows in theaters from downtown to the suburbs canceled either out of caution or because cast members and crews tested positive for the virus. Those include (but are not limited to):

  • "The Nutcracker" (Joffrey Ballet)
  • "Pretty Woman: The Musical" (Broadway in Chicago)
  • "Teatro ZinZanni" (Broadway in Chicago)
  • "Her Honor, Jane Byrne" (Lookingglass)
  • "Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody" (Apollo Theater)
  • "Cinderella" (Paramount)

What they're saying: "Our theatres are acting with the utmost caution, requiring vaccinations for cast, crew and staff, as well as audience members," The League of Chicago Theatres' Deb Clapp wrote to Axios.

  • "Nevertheless, we are seeing breakthrough infections, and rather than risk a larger break out, theatres are choosing to cancel performances in an effort to stop the spread."

Of note: The league doesn't have statistics on how much holiday shows make and what will be lost.

The bottom line: "The last two weeks of the year are a time when families get together and see a show," Clapp said. "They are some of the busiest and most joyous weeks of the year for Chicago theatre and our audiences."

What's next: Show representatives say they hope to get back on stage after Christmas.

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