Broadway in COVID-19 crisis as shows shut down over staff cases


Broadway in COVID-19 crisis as shows shut down over staff cases
Breakthrough cases among staff are forcing popular shows to temporarily shut down. Noam Galai/Getty Images

Mere months after reopening to full capacity, Broadway is grappling with COVID-19 once again, as breakthrough cases among staff are forcing popular shows to temporarily shutter.

“Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical,” and “Freestyle Love Supreme” all had to close their curtains this week with performers and crew out sick. “Wicked” had to cancel a slew of performances earlier in December for the same reason, as did “Chicago” in November and “Aladdin” just a day after reopening.

“Hamilton” tweeted about its show closure less than an hour before Wednesday’s curtain time, citing multiple breakthrough cases. All performers, crew and attendees at shows are required to be vaccinated, but as cases rise across New York City, the theater district has not been immune.

The widely-panned Mrs. Doubtfire musical canceled its performances this past Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, saying ticket-holders — however few there might be — would be refunded.

pic.twitter.com/wxlEBPHkmL

— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) December 16, 2021

UPDATE: Out of an abundance of caution, the performances on Tuesday (12/14) and Wednesday (12/15) have been cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase. https://t.co/DGpW09Up8Z

— Doubtfire On Broadway (@DoubtfireBway) December 14, 2021

None of the shows got too specific about who had tested positive or how many cases they were dealing with.

It’s a tough blow for Broadway as it struggles to come back after an almost 1.5-year hiatus.

Cases are surging around the city just in time for Christmas. New York University announced this week it’s moving finals online and canceling some indoor activities as more and more students continue to test positive, and restaurants around the city are announcing temporary closures with staff out sick.

Broadway in COVID-19 crisis as shows shut down over staff cases
Broadway has been struggling to come back after an almost 1.5-year hiatus.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

The Big Apple is averaging more than 3,700 new cases a day in the past week and has an average positivity rate of over three percent. Deaths have remained stable, with an average of nine a day, according to city data.