c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>‘Music Man’ Broadway Revival Cancels Christmas Day And Dec. 26 Performances Because Of Covid-19
By Bruce Haring
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December 24, 2021 6:32pm
The show was struck by illness earlier in the week, when actress Sutton Foster tested positive, causing her to miss Thursday’s preview performance. She posted Friday morning on Instagram, confirming the reason for her absence. Now, producers have taken it one step further, going dark for the next two scheduled dates and possibly into the future.
The cancellations are part of a larger trend on the Great White Way. A dozen Broadway shows have gone dark this week after cast or crew tested positive, a gut punch for an industry that hoped to resusciate itself with a strong holiday season after an 18-month hiatus.
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Despite vaccination protocols for audiences, crews, performers and other staff, such shows as The Lion King, Aladdin, Hamilton and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have had to close their doors.
In announcing her absence, Foster thanked understudy Kathy Voytko, who stepped in for her on Thursday. The show had just begun previews on Monday, Dec. 20 at the Winter Garden Theater.
“Yesterday I tested positive for COVID. At noon Kathy Voytko found out. And last night she went on for (Foster’s character) Marian Proo and smashed it,” Foster wrote on Instagram. “Grateful to Kathy and our incredible company. Grateful to all swings and understudies who keep all the shows going, now and always.” Show star Hugh Jackman gave a post-show speech celebrating Voytko as well.
Show producers announced the cancellations on social media.
“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 statement says.
Show star Jackman issued his own social media comments on the situation.
“All over Broadway, this is a time we’ve never known. We’re in our fourth preview. We’re all just sort of learning,” Jackman said. “Swings and understudies have not had a chance to learn. They watch from the corner of a room while we rehearse, while we get to practice over and over again. They just get to watch and write notes and then five hours before our performances they’re told, ‘You’re on.’”
“The courage, the brilliance, the dedication, the talent, the swings, the understudies, they are the bedrock of Broadway,” Jackman said.
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