Broadway Cancels Shows Due to Positive Covid Tests
âReversing random performances can only hurt – it just gives the impression that a performance will happen in the air,â said Ted Chapin, a longtime industry leader and former president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein organization. . âIt would be nice if Covid could calm down, but it looks like during this time when people are not as diligent as they should be, we could be out longer than we would like. “
But so far, customers still seem to be flocking to the shows. The cancellations are still “a small number of performances compared to the total,” said Victoria Bailey, executive director of the nonprofit Theater Development Fund, which operates the TKTS booth in Times Square. âWe’re hyper aware of this because within the industry we all have this underlying anxiety: ‘We need this to last. We need this to last. We need this to continue. But the average consumer: not so much.
The liners help some shows keep going. But in some cases, especially for new issues, there aren’t enough replacements ready to continue.
âThere may be some shows that need to think about their coverage and whether we can afford to expand the coverage,â said Tom Kirdahy, one of the main producers of âLittle Shopâ. “It can’t be that if one person tests positive, an entire production stops – this model is unsustainable.”
An unresolved issue: compensation. So far, most shows have paid company members even when the shows were canceled, but it’s unclear whether this practice will continue.
Cancellations also occur elsewhere. The canceled performances are now widespread in london, where theaters have had less stringent safety rules. In Paris, a performance of the ballet “Don Quixote” was canceled this week at the OpÃ©ra Bastille due to positive cases in its company. And in Washington on Wednesday, the Kennedy Center announcement that he was delaying the start of a 13-day “Ain’t Too Proud” production tour, citing groundbreaking cases.
Melissa Castor, a 31-year-old graphic designer, was still at home in Long Island on Saturday when she saw on Twitter that the âFreestyle Love Supremeâ performance she was planning to attend that night had been canceled. âI was upset, but it’s not like I have to buy a plane ticket or find a hotel, and I know that upon entering a show might be canceled,â she said. “This is the age we are living in.”
The turnaround in fortunes was particularly brutal for Ben Ratner, a 29-year-old digital producer, who won an emergency ticket on Sunday morning for “Mrs. Doubtfire â, but 90 minutes later I received an email stating that the performance had been canceled. âI was a little annoyed, but also understanding,â he said. “I will never fault a production for doing the right thing for safety.”