Amid the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, a dozen Broadway shows have shuttered their doors this week as cast or crew members test positive for Covid-19 — an unfortunate event during what is usually a busy holiday season for the industry
Since Broadway returned following an 18-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, vaccination against Covid-19 has been required for eligible audiences, crews, performers and other staff.
The safety measure, among others such as mask wearing, is aimed at keeping the curtains raised as the US enters yet another Christmas marred by a rise in Covid-19 and shutdowns.
Broadway provides about 97,000 jobs in New York City, adding about $14.7 billion to the city’s economy in the 2018-2019 season, according to the Broadway League.
Here’s a look at the 12 Broadway shows that canceled performances due to Covid-19 outbreaks within their companies:
‘The Lion King’
All matinee and evening performances for the “The Lion King” have been canceled from December 21 through December 26 after breakthrough Covid-19 cases were detected within the company at The Minskoff Theatre.
The production added that wellness and safety is its top priority, and the show will return December 27.
“Aladdin the Musical” announced that it canceled all performances from December 21 through December 24 after breakthrough cases of Covid-19 were detected through the production’s “continued rigorous testing protocols,” the show said in a Tweet.
It’s expected to return on December 26.
In October, “Aladdin” on Broadway canceled multiple performances after Covid-19 cases were detected within the theater company, marking the first-known cancellations due to Covid-19 since Broadway theaters began reopening in September.
“Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s opus on the life of Alexander Hamilton, canceled performances for the week beginning December 20 though December 26 due to breakthrough Covid-19 cases, the production said on its verified Twitter account.
“We apologize for the disappointment and for any inconvenience this may cause,” the show said.
Hamilton was one of the first Broadway shows to reopen in September following the pandemic shutdown.
‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’
The performances of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” were canceled from December 21 through December 27.
The show said in a Twitter post that “regular testing are in place to help us maintain a safe and healthy environment for all.”
“We will enchant you another time,” the show said. It’s expected to return December 28.
A performance of David Byrne’s “American Utopia” was canceled Wednesday evening due to breakthrough Covid-19 cases within the company, and the show said it’s expected to return Thursday at 5 p.m.
“At the St. James Theatre, the health and safety of our company, theater staff and audience is our primary concern. We apologize for the inconvenience,” the production wrote in a Twitter post.
‘Dear Evan Hansen’
The production of “Dear Evan Hansen” also shuttered its doors from December 20 through December 26 “out of an abundance of caution surrounding Covid-19,” the show said in a Tweet.
“The health, safety, and wellbeing of our cast, crew, and audience(s) remain our top priority,” the production wrote.
It’s slated for a December 27 return
At the Walter Kerr Theatre, “Hadestown” canceled shows scheduled from December 20 through December due to breakthrough cases of Covid-19.
“We are making the difficult decision to cancel this week’s Broadway performances,” the production said on Twitter. “We are actively working to keep our cast, crew, and audiences as safe as possible.”
Performances are expected to resume on December 28.
“Six” on Broadway also canceled its shows through December 28 due to breakthrough cases of Covid-19, with a return scheduled on December 29.
“We know that so many looking forward to joining us on these dates and we’re so sorry that we won’t be able to perform,” the show said in a post on Twitter.
The Manhattan Theatre Club, which produces “Skeleton Crew,” said in a Tweet that some company members tested positive for Covid-19, prompting the delay of the show’s preview performances.
The premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s play returns December 27, the production said in a tweet. The production’s opening night has been moved to January 19.
“The health and safety of our artists, staff, and patrons is our utmost priority and MTC will continue to follow the strictest safety protocols,” the production said in a tweet.
“Tina,” the Tina Turner musical, called off performances from Tuesday through Friday “due to breakthrough Covid-19 cases and out of an abundance of caution,” the production said.
Performances were expected to resume December 25, according to a message on Twitter.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this causes ticket holders, but the safety of our audiences, the cast and crew remains our top priority,” the production wrote.
Thursday’s “Waitress” musical was canceled “out of an abundance of caution,” the production said. The show is expected to return Christmas Day at 8 p.m.
‘Come From Away’
The performances of “Come From Away” that were scheduled on December 22 through Christmas Day were also canceled “due to the detection of breakthrough COVID-19 cases within the company.” They are planned to resume December 26.
“We apologize for the inconvenience but the safety of our company and audiences is our top priority,” the production said in a Tweet.
CNN’s Sahar Akbarzai, Laura Ly, Kelly McCleary, Alison Kosik and Aparnaa Seshadri.