The show must go on — at least for some.
The star-studded Broadway revival of “The Music Man” begins its highly anticipated run at the Winter Garden Theatre Dec. 20 — and star Hugh Jackman could not be more excited about it, despite rampant shutdowns at other theaters due to the coronavirus.
While Jackman, 53, and Tony-winning co-star Sutton Foster, 46, will wait in the wings no longer for the show’s first preview, many other shows on the Great White Way have had to close their doors amid the rising COVID cases and surging Omicron variant in New York City.
“I’ve just arrived at the theater, and it is our first preview tonight,” he shared in a video on Instagram Monday. “I don’t know how many months — years this date has been in my head, but it feels like a long time. I am just so grateful and so … ah … blessed to be here in this position and I am so excited to share this show with you all.”
The Jerry Zaks-helmed production of “The Music Man” was slated to arrive on Broadway in September 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
“Wicked,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” and “Freestyle Love Supreme” are among the musicals that have canceled multiple performances throughout December with performers and crew out sick with COVID. In addition, despite the fact that the holiday week is one of Broadway’s busiest times of the year, “Hamilton,” “Aladdin” and “MJ” have shut down performances for the rest of the Christmas week.
“Hamilton” announced Monday that performances from Dec. 20 through Dec. 26 are canceled and will be fully refunded as a result of multiple positive COVID test results within the cast and crew.
“In the ongoing effort to ensure the well-being of our cast, crew and audience, this week’s performances of Hamilton on Broadway have been canceled due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases,” read the statement on Twitter. “On behalf of everyone at Hamilton, we apologize for the disappointment and for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Disney’s “Aladdin” musical also released a statement Monday, saying that all performances from Dec. 21 through Dec. 24 have been canceled.
“Through our continuing rigorous testing protocols, additional breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected within the company of Aladdin at The New Amsterdam Theatre,” the message on Twitter read, adding that the “wellness and safety of our guests, cast, and crew are our top priority.” Refunds will be issued for all ticketholders.
The latest wave of Broadway cancellations comes as New York City is enduring a surge of COVID-19 cases thanks to the highly contagious Omicron variant. New York State hit a record this past Saturday with over 21,000 positive cases recorded in a single day.
Over the weekend, “Saturday Night Live” also nixed a live audience and opted for a clip show — with help from scheduled host Paul Rudd, Tom Hanks and “SNL” alum Tina Fey — after an in-house outbreak that left cast and crew “fearful.”