After a period of relative calm, COVID woes have started to force the cancellations of Broadway performances once again in early April.
Since re-opening in August and September, COVID has impacted many facets of the industry, from show cancellations, delays and early closures to mask, vaccine and ticket policy changes.
On Thursday, April 7, “Plaza Suite” announced that both of its stars, spouses Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderickhave tested positive for COVID.
Late Tuesday, the show had announced on social media that Broderick tested positive for COVID-19 before that night’s performance “despite strict adherence to COVID safety protocols.” The diagnosis was confirmed with a second test.
At the time, Parker had tested negative, and shows continued, with Broderick’s standby, Tony Award winner Michael McGrath, performing in his place.
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But on Thursday afternoon, “Plaza Suite” announced that Parker had tested positive, with a second test confirming her diagnosis.
Thursday night’s performance was canceled with both stars out, with the social media post saying that news about future performances would be announced as soon as possible. “Everyone wishes Matthew and Sarah Jessica a speedy recovery,” the post said.
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Also on Thursday, the musical “Paradise Square” canceled its scheduled performance for the evening “out of an abundance of caution due to COVID cases in the company,” the show said on social media. There was no update given yet on future performances.
On Wednesday, “A Strange Loop” — which on Tuesday delayed its April 6 first preview to April 7 due to COVID detected within the company — announced that it would now debut on Monday, April 11.
“Macbeth” starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga canceled more than a week of previews after Craig and other cast members tested positive for COVID. Originally planning to resume previews on April 8, the show announced on Wednesday, April 6, that shows would not resume until Monday, April 11.
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Since re-opening, productions have been forced into shutdowns when COVID breakouts occur, and COVID has been blamed for the permanent closure of shows like “Jagged Little Pill,” “Thoughts of a Colored Man” and “Ain’t Too Proud.”
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Other shows, including “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Girl From The North Country” and “To Kill A Mockingbird,” have chosen to go on hiatus.
Current Broadway show schedules
Here is the current state of every Broadway show. Situations can change rapidly, check with the official websites and social media for the latest:
Despite the COVID cancellations, at this point the majority of Broadway’s productions are up and running.
In an effort to keep theatergoers apprised of the latest cancellations, the Broadway League late last week announced bwaytoday.com, which shows performance schedules and links to each show’s website.
“The magic of Broadway is that it is live in every way,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League. “If an actor or crew member gets sick, we take it very seriously. Our highest priority is the health and safety of everyone working on the show and everyone in the audience.”
Shows that are canceled are offering refunds and exchanges at the point of purchase.
Broadway casts are tested for COVID-19 multiple times a week at a minimum.
Some industry members have expressed frustration with misconceptions about safety, and support for rules that they say keep actors, crew members and audience as safe as possible. They largely eschew the idea of an industry-wide shutdown, preferring to keep as many productions up and running as possible for a sector that has been hard-hit by the pandemic, and saying that safety protocols that catch cases are working.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism