Broadway hits ‘Hamilton’, ‘Lion King’ among shows to shut down as Covid-19 cases rise


Some of Broadway’s most popular shows, including “Hamilton” and “The Lion King,” have canceled performances until Christmas due to outbreaks of Covid-19 within their companies. “Jagged Little Pill” said he would end his run.

The producers of “Jagged Little Pill,” the musical based on Alanis Morissette’s album, said the show would not reopen after members of the company tested positive. Some of Broadway’s most popular shows, including “Hamilton” and “The Lion King,” have canceled performances until Christmas due to outbreaks of Covid-19 within their companies. “Jagged Little Pill” said he would end his run. Covid-19 and “in light of the extreme uncertainty that awaits us this winter”.

“Forced to choose between continuing to perform and protecting our business, we made the difficult decision to close our doors,” producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price said Monday evening.

Many Broadway musicals and plays reopened this fall after a year and a half of closures due to the pandemic. All 41 theaters have agreed to rigorous safety protocols, including vaccine requirements for audience members, performers, crew and staff. The public is also required to wear masks throughout performances.

Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said there was no plan for another Broadway stop. She said the temporary shutdowns showed the protocols were working and epidemiologists in the group were working to determine if those protocols needed to be changed.

“Everyone has been off work for so long,” she said. “Not all stops are good for the industry, nor are they good for the soul, for that matter. “

Between two-thirds and three-quarters of Broadway shows are still shown each night, Ms. St. Martin said. Some productions cancel one or two shows instead of a full week of performances. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” for example, has canceled its Sunday shows but plans to reopen Tuesday night. The highly anticipated revival of “The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, has also opened ahead- first Monday night.

Cancellations come at one of the busiest times of the year on Broadway, when shows typically have their biggest sales.

“Now is not a good time for Broadway – for anyone – to lose performances,” Ms. St. Martin said. “It’s in the DNA of the people of Broadway that the show continues. If this doesn’t continue, you know it’s a real crisis.

The Omicron variant caused more than 70% of new coronavirus cases in the United States recorded in the week ending December 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The surge comes as the holidays approach and some people are reconsidering their travel plans. Photo credit: Jeenah Moon / Bloomberg

Broadway’s 2021-2022 season grossed over $ 310.4 million as of Dec. 19 with attendance of over 2.47 million, according to the most recent Broadway League figures.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week they will avoid business closures and restrictions amid a further rise in Covid-19 cases. Yet businesses, including theaters, are making their own decisions to shut down.

“The Lion King” has announced that it will cancel performances from Tuesday and reopen with a matinee on Monday, December 27, and “Hamilton” expects to resume the same day with an evening performance. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which cut its production into two parts into one piece before reopening in November, said performances are set to resume on Tuesday, December 28. “Aladdin the Musical” plans to resume performances on Sunday, December 2. 26. “Ain’t Too Proud” has canceled shows until Sunday, December 26, and “Hadestown” plans to continue on Tuesday, December 28.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” which reopened earlier this month, has canceled shows until Monday, December 27. “MJ: The Musical,” the new show based on the life of Michael Jackson, will continue premieres on December 27, after several members of society tested positive for Covid-19. “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” has canceled performances until Friday, December 24, with her next show scheduled for Saturday, December 25.

Other cultural institutions in New York City have also taken action to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their spaces. The Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Tuesday it would temporarily limit the number of visitors to around 10,000 people per day. It will also close the dining rooms on Thursday. Last week, the Radio City Rockettes decided to end the Christmas Spectacular show earlier.

Write to Jennifer Calfas at jennifer.calfas@wsj.com

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