What to Know
- Many Broadway shows have had to cancel performances, all attributing the cancellations to breakthrough COVID-19 cases among the casts and crews
- Nearly a dozen shows have canceled all performances through Christmas, and are slated to come back after the holiday
- At least three shows, "Jagged Little Pill," "Waitress" and "Ain't Too Proud" have been forced to end their Broadway runs entirely
Multiple Broadway shows have been forced to cancel performances amid a sudden rash of COVID-19 outbreaks from the casts and crews, leading to disappointed theatergoers and concerned industry professionals.
The first week of January is the stretch where productions evaluate their ability to survive the winter season based on advance ticket sales, and the COVID factor, especially when it comes to breakthrough cases, is clearly having an impact.
See the latest Broadway changes here, starting with the most recent:
"Paradise Square" -- The show, which had been scheduled to open performances at the Barrymore Theatre on Feb. 22, has delayed its preview debut to March 15 and pushed its full opening to April 3 as a COVID precaution.
"Flying Over Sunset" -- The Lincoln Center Theater production announced it will end its run on Jan. 16, three weeks earlier than its plan to wrap performances on Feb. 6.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" -- The production announced it would be taking a hiatus until mid-March, effective on Jan. 10, amid the COVID surge sweeping the city. Tickets for performances scheduled in the interim can be refunded at the point of purchase.
"Come From Away" -- The production announced performances would resume on Jan. 7 after breakthrough cases prompted cancellations at the end of December.
"Come From Away" -- The blockbuster production says breakthrough cases within the company have forced it to cancel performances from Friday, Dec. 30, through at least Sunday, Jan. 2. Performances are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
"We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact your point of purchase for a refund or to exchange your tickets for another performance of 'Come From Away,'" the production said in a statement Thursday.
"Ain't Too Proud" — The show detailing the lives of iconic Motown group The Temptations announced that it will be ending its Broadway run on Jan. 16. The production had previously canceled a week's worth of shows leading up to and just after Christmas due to breakthrough COVID cases.
It becomes the third show to close amid the surge from the omicron variant, following "Jagged Little Pill" and "Waitress." The production is slated to run a full schedule of shows for the final three weeks of its run.
"The Music Man" -- All performances are canceled through Jan. 1, the production said. The news came hours after star Hugh Jackman said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms. All tickets can be refunded or exchanged at the point of purchase. Performances are set to resume on Sunday, Jan. 2.
"The Lion King" -- The production extended performance cancellations at The Minskoff Theatre for Tuesday's evening performance and Wednesday's matinee. Performances are scheduled to resume for Wednesday's evening performance. All tickets for canceled performances will be refunded at the point of purchase.
"Six" — All performances have been canceled through Dec. 30, the show announced via Twitter. The show is scheduled to resume performances on Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
"Tina" -- After performing a matinee show Sunday, the jukebox musical canceled its evening production due to breakthrough cases and out of an abundance of caution. The production plans to resume on Monday at 8 p.m.
"Company" - The musical canceled both scheduled performances for Sunday, and said ticketholders would be refunded at their point of purchase.
There was not mention of suspending additional shows.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" -- The production canceled its Sunday evening performances due to breakthrough infections. It is scheduled to resume performances on Dec. 27.
"The Lion King" -- The acclaimed Disney musical extended its pause on performances through Monday, Dec. 27. The production is expected to resume Tuesday for its 7 p.m. show.
"The Music Man on Broadway" -- Christmas Day's evening performance and the matinee performance for Sunday have been canceled due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the production said. All tickets for affected performances will be refunded at the point of purchase.
"Our company would have loved nothing more than to celebrate the holiday with the audience and their families, but the priority is the health and wellness of the cast, crew and audience," the production tweeted.
"Aladdin" -- The production said Friday it had extended performance cancellations at The New Amsterdam Theatre, including all matinee and evening shows, through Tuesday, Dec. 28, because of breakthrough infections. Performances are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m., though are subject to change as well.
All tickets for the canceled performances will be refunded at the point of purchase.
"We apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience this causes ticket holders, but the safety of guests and the Aladdin company remains our number one priority," the production said in a statement.
"Waitress" -- The production initially said Thursday's scheduled performance had been canceled "out of an abundance of caution," and that the show was expected to resume on Christmas. However, later in the evening, the show announced that it would be ending its run on Broadway effective immediately.
"The decision has been made to curtail the engagement which was scheduled to run through January 9," the show said in a series of tweets. "This is not how we wanted to finish our run but are so grateful to every fan and theater-lover who visited the Diner these past few months."
"American Utopia" — For the second night in a row, the production canceled its performances — this time for the 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows — as a result of breakthrough COVID cases. Performances are slated to return for the evening shows on Dec. 26.
"Moulin Rouge" — Due to positive COVID results within the company, performances for Thursday and for Christmas were canceled, the production said. It is scheduled to resume performances on Dec. 26 at 2 p.m.
"Come From Away" —All performances from Dec. 22 through Christmas were cancelled, the production announced, due to breakthrough cases within the company. The show is scheduled to return on Dec. 26 at 2 p.m.
"American Utopia" — The show canceled Wednesday evening's performance after a breakthrough COVID case. The production said that performances are slated to continue once again on Thursday at 5 p.m.
"Come From Away" — Tuesday's performance was canceled late in the evening, seemingly within minutes of the show starting, due to a breakthrough COVID case.
"Waitress" — The show said that out of an abundance of caution, performances for Tuesday and Wednesday were canceled. The show is next scheduled to hit the stage Christmas night.
"Six" — All performances through Tuesday, Dec. 28 have been canceled due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the show announced on Tuesday. Performances are scheduled to resume on Wednesday, Dec. 29.
"Tina" — The jukebox musical announced Tuesday afternoon that all performances through Dec. 24 have been canceled, and it is set to reopen for Christmas day shows.
"The Lion King" -- The long-running show said Tuesday it was canceling all matinee and evening performances through Sunday, Dec. 26 because of a rash of breakthrough COVID infections within the company. Performances are scheduled to resume with a 2 p.m. matinee on Monday, Dec. 27. Tickets for canceled performances will be refunded at the point of purchase.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" — Tuesday's performances were canceled "due to the detection of positive COVID test results in the company." Performances were expected to resume on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
"Jagged Little Pill" — The Alanis Morissette jukebox musical, which had already announced previous closures due to breakthrough cases, is ending its Broadway run, the production shared in a tweet. It last performed on Dec. 17, and canceled shows over the weekend.
It was expected to return on Dec. 21, but the show's producers said in an announcement, "In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we've made the difficult decision to close our doors."
The show said that announcements regarding subsequent productions will be made in 2022, and that they "hope and intend to find a way to bring this vibrant and vitalizing musical back to the Broadway stage, once the current crisis is past."
"Dear Evan Hansen" — Two hours before showtime Monday, it was announced the production would join other shows in suspending performances until two days after Christmas. The cancelations come "out of an abundance of caution surrounding COVID-19," the show said in a statement.
"Hamilton" — The blockbuster Broadway show said Monday it was canceling all performances for the week because of breakthrough COVID-19 cases. All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase and more information on upcoming performances will be made available as soon as possible, the show said.
"On behalf of everyone at "Hamilton," we apologize for the disappointment and for any inconvenience this may cause," it added in a statement.
Performances are scheduled to resume on Dec. 27.
"Aladdin" — The show said Monday it was canceling all matinee and evening performances from Tuesday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Dec. 24 because "additional breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected within the company." Performances are scheduled to resume Sunday, Dec. 26, at 1 p.m.
"Ain't Too Proud" — The production said in a tweet that due to breakthrough cases, all performances have been canceled through Sunday, Dec. 26. The show is slated to return on Dec. 27.
"Hadestown" — All performances for the week leading up to Christmas have been canceled, the show announced. Performances are scheduled to resume on Dec. 28.
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" — The show announced late Monday that due to breakthrough cases and out of an abundance of caution, all performances through Monday, Dec. 27 are canceled. Shows are scheduled to resume on Dec. 28.
"Skeleton Crew" — Previews and the Broadway premiere for the production have both been pushed back, the show announced. Previews are scheduled to begin Dec. 27, a week after their initial start date. The show's opening night has also been pushed back a week, to Jan. 19 from Jan 12.
"Diana" — The musical about Princess Diana performed its last show on Sunday after just nine preview runs.
"Aladdin" — Breakthrough cases within the company canceled two scheduled performances for Sunday. The next show is scheduled for Tuesday.
"Hamilton" — The Tony-winning production had canceled shows through Dec. 19.
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" — Performances are scheduled to resume Tuesday, Dec. 21, after weekend cancelations.
"Moulin Rouge! The Musical" — Positive tests have canceled the musical's Sunday's performances. The show is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" — Performances are expected to resume Tuesday.
"MJ The Musical" — Cancellations continue for the show currently in previews. Producers announced an extended pause of show until Dec. 29 due to multiple positive results.
"Hamilton" — Friday performances are canceled, as are the remainder of the weekend's performances.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" — Performances are canceled through Sunday.
"Moulin Rouge" — The show canceled Friday evening's performance "out of an abundance of caution," citing positive results within the company; no word yet on remaining weekend shows. A day ago, last-minute positives within the company forced a cancellation even though the audience had already been seated.
"Tina" — Performances of the jukebox musical have been postponed once again due to breakthrough infections. The show said all weekend performances, as well as the evening one Monday, will be canceled. They hope to resume Tuesday.
"MJ The Musical" — After what was called a "limited number of positive COVID test results," both performances of "MJ The Musical" for Thursday, Dec. 16 were canceled, the show announced. Performances scheduled for Dec. 17 were still set to go ahead as planned, the show said.
"Moulin Rouge" — The Thursday night performance of "Moulin Rouge" was canceled — even after the audience was seated and waiting for the show to start, Deadline reported. Last-minute positives within the company just before curtains were set to go up led to the cancellation, and the audience was ushered out of the theater. An updated performance schedule is expected to come on Friday.
"Jagged Little Pill" — The musical inspired by the 1995 album of the same name by Alanis Morissette, who also did music for the show, canceled Thursday night's performance, according to Broadway News.
"Hamilton" — The Wednesday evening production of "Hamilton" was canceled just minutes before it was set to raise the curtain, as the show tweeted after 7 p.m. that the performance had been canceled. The Dec. 16 and 17 performances were later cancelled as well.
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" — Earlier in the day, another massively popular production said that one of their performances had to be canceled as well, for the same reason. "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" canceled their Wednesday matinee performance, but the evening performance was scheduled to run as planned, the show said in a tweet.
"Tina" — The production of "Tina," the musical about Tina Turner, said that the afternoon and evening shows for Dec. 15 would be canceled "due to the detection of a limited number of positive COVID test results within the Broadway company," a tweet read. The show later cancelled the Dec. 16 show as well.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" — For the third consecutive scheduled performance, the musical comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" was canceled for Wednesday. That announcement came a day before, when the show said that the performances for Dec. 14 and 15 would be canceled "out of an abundance of caution." The show has now cancelled all performances through Sunday Dec. 19 as well.
"Ain't Too Proud" — The Tuesday evening performance of "Ain't Too Proud" was canceled due to a breakthrough case, the show said in a tweet. Refunds for those who purchased tickets to the showing would be offered. The show said that future performances would still go on as planned.
"Freestyle Love Supreme" — The Broadway show that describes itself as a "fusion of hip hop, improv, and comedy" had to initially close its doors on Dec. 11 due to breakthrough cases. Two days later, on Dec. 13, the show once again canceled performances.
Video from social media showed that the production did re-open on Dec. 14, however.
"Little Shop of Horrors" — The off-Broadway production of "Little Shop of Horrors" canceled performances on Dec. 11-12 after one breakthrough case was reported, according to Playbill.
As a way for theatergoers to access a complete list of shows that will be playing each day, The Broadway League launched a new website Friday to help find performance schedules of every Broadway show, as well as upcoming special holiday performance times. The site, bwaytoday.com, provides access to each show's individual website for further information, and listings includes the most up-to-date information on performance times and reflects any cancellations.
Meanwhile, the Broadway League — which represents 34 productions — insisted Tuesday that an industry-wide shutdown was not on the table at the moment.
"At the present time, there are no plans to shut down Broadway," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, the national trade association for the theater industry.
"We have the strongest protocols in theater today and we are ensuring their adherence every day," she said. "The posting of shows on a daily basis shows that the protocols work. We test, and if the tests are positive, the show doesn't go on and the cast and crew then are protected from further contact."
St. Martin said that the group's epidemiologists are working to determine if there are any protocols that need to be updated or changed.
Broadway has taken precautions to ensure that workers and audience members are vaccinated and patrons are required to wear masks during performances. In many cases, the company members and workers who have tested positive have been asymptomatic or have shown only mild symptoms. But they are not allowed to return to Broadway until they are considered no longer contagious.
In some instances, productions have been able to continue even if a cast member tests positive for COVID-19, with understudies or swing players taking their place.
The omicron variant has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showed nearly a six-fold increase in omicron's share of infections in only one week.
In much of the country, omicron's prevalence is even higher. It's responsible for an estimated 90 percent of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.