Hugh Jackman tests positive for COVID-19, his Broadway revival 'Music Man' cancels shows
"Just wanted you to hear it from me," Jackman tweeted. "I tested positive for Covid. Mild symptoms and as soon as I’m cleared … looking forward to getting back to The Winter Garden!"
In the video, Jackman says his symptoms are "like a cold" and include a "scratchy throat" and "runny nose."
"I'm just gonna do everything I can to get better ASAP, and, as soon as I'm cleared, I'll be back on stage heading to River City," he adds.
Max Clayton, who is Jackman's standby for the starring role of Harold Hill, announced on Instagram that he also is COVID-positive. "Your support means so much to me. I too have tested positive for COVID and will be out of @musicmanbway for a bit. I have no further information, but I’m sending all of my love to @thehughjackman and our incredible company and crew," he wrote.
Foster announced she was positive for COVID-19 last week, and thanked actress Kathy Voytko for stepping in.
“Yesterday I tested positive for COVID. At noon Kathy Voytko found out. And last night she went on for Marian Proo and smashed it,” Foster wrote on Instagram, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
On Tuesday, she added a message for Jackman: "Get well soon, my friend."
The show will cancel all performances through Jan. 5. Jackman and the show will return on Jan. 6.
After Voytko stepped up to fill Foster's shoes last week, Jackman gave a post-show speech that honored the roles swings, standbys and understudies have had in allowing many Broadway shows to keep running as the omicron variant has raged through casts.
Since shows started in late summer and fall, breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in cast and crew members have more and more frequently forced cancellations of performances — including the permanent closures of "Jagged Little Pill," "Thoughts of a Colored Man" and "Ain't Too Proud."
"Ain't Too Proud" is the latest show to announce its closure, saying Dec. 28 that it will play its final performance on Sunday, Jan. 16. It will have played 488 performances, barring any additional COVID cancellations, and 21 previews.
'Jagged Little Pill' closes permanently
"Jagged Little Pill" announced Dec. 20 that it would not be reopening following a COVID closure that was set to end before Christmas. It was the second show to directly blame COVID for closing; the first was "Chicken & Biscuits" in November.
"The drastic turn of events this week with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has, once again, changed everything," said producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price in a statement. "We are dismayed by what appears to be another substantial public health crisis, and – due to the detection of multiple positive Covid-19 cases within the company – need to prioritize the health and safety of the cast, crew, and entire team working on Jagged Little Pill. In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our doors."
They said they hope to bring the musical back to Broadway in the future.
'Waitress' shuts down early
"Waitress" announced that it would not be re-opening following a COVID shutdown, unknowingly playing its last performance on Dec. 19. The musical had been scheduled to play its final performance on Jan. 9.
"With only two weeks of performances remaining and due to positive cases of COVID detected in the company and crew at the Barrymore Theatre, the decision has been made to curtail the engagement which was scheduled to run through Jan. 9," the show posted on Twitter.
"This is not how we wanted to finish our run but are so grateful to every fan and theater-lover who visited the Diner these past few months."
'Thoughts of a Colored Man' closes
Following the "Waitress," announcement, "Thoughts of a Colored Man" announced late on Dec. 23 that it played its final performance the night before.
Producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Diana Dimenna, Kandi Burruss, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Samira Wiley released the following statement:
“While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, being part of this historic season on Broadway has been the greatest privilege of our lives. The theater industry’s great return is about so much more than the success or failure of any single production. As a community, we remain undeterred, unflinching and unstoppable. We have never been prouder to be theater makers than at this very moment.”
'Is There Still Sex In The City?' star goes onstage COVID-positive
Another cancellation: "Is There Still Sex In The City?," after writer and star Candace Bushnell tested positive for COVID-19 Dec. 21, right before she was set to go onstage. The producers have said the show, which premiered Dec. 7, cannot continue. A national tour remains in the works, plus an international one.
While some longer periods of cancelled shows did exist, most have been announced on a daily basis or a few days at a time.
Of late, though, a number of productions have shut down for a week or more.
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:
- "Ain't Too Proud": Set to resume on Dec. 28
- "Aladdin": Set to resume on Dec. 29
- "American Utopia": Running as scheduled, "Unchained" performances planned during cast absences
- "The Book of Mormon": Running as scheduled
- "Caroline, Or Change": Running as scheduled
- "Chicago": Running as scheduled
- "Clyde's": Running as scheduled
- "Come From Away": Running as scheduled
- "Company": Running as scheduled
- "Dear Evan Hansen": Running as scheduled
- "Flying Over Sunset": Set to resume Dec. 28
- "Freestyle Love Supreme": Running as scheduled
- "Girl From The North Country": Running as scheduled
- "Hadestown": Set to resume on Dec. 29
- "Hamilton": Set to resume on Dec. 28
- "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child": Set to resume Dec. 28
- "The Lehman Trilogy": Running as scheduled
- "The Lion King": Set to resume 7 p.m. Dec. 29
- "MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical": Set to resume Dec. 29
- "Moulin Rouge": Set to resume on Dec. 29
- "Mrs. Doubtfire": Running as scheduled
- "The Music Man": Set to resume Jan. 2
- "The Phantom of the Opera": Running as scheduled
- "Six": Set to resume Jan. 2
- "Skeleton Crew": Running as scheduled
- "Slave Play": Running as scheduled
- "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical": Running as scheduled
- "To Kill A Mockingbird": Running as scheduled
- "Trouble in Mind": Running as scheduled
- "Wicked": Running as scheduled
"Skeleton Crew" announced Monday that it was pushing back the start of its previews and opening night due to COVID cases.
Some off-Broadway, national tours and regional theaters have also been hard-hit by COVID cancellations. For instance, off-Broadway's "Trevor: The Musical" announced it would close Jan. 2, then the next day said the remaining performances would be canceled following breakthrough cases.
The Rockettes previously announced that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular would end early.
Though many productions close permanently in any given season, there is little doubt that COVID has added challenges.
"Chicken & Biscuits" was one of the first plays to have an extended shutdown, and announced its closing at the same time in November, citing "the significant financial impact of the show cancellations."
Other shows that have had runs cut short include "Dana H." and "Is This A Room."
"Diana The Musical" shut down on Sunday after only 33 performances and 16 previews.
Schedule of Broadway performances
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 cancelled are offering refunds and exchanges at the point of purchase.
Broadway casts are tested for COVID-19 multiple times a week at 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.
In a tweet, writer Erik Jackson said, "the thing is, if your job tested as thoroughly as Broadway does y’all would be swimming in positives too."
Contributing: Charles Trepany, USA TODAY