Broadway has launched a daily tracker of what shows are performing, an effort to keep consumers aware of what shows are on amid a wave of COVID-related cancellations. The website, accessible via bwaytoday.com, is updated daily and shows performances across the Broadway world for the next seven days.
Despite the cancellations, Broadway leadership has stood fast against rumors that there would be another widespread shutdown of performances, such as the one that began in March 2020 and lasted until shows gradually reopened in the summer and fall of 2021.
“We have absolutely no plans to shut down,” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are paying serious attention to the protocols. The other 20 to 30 shows continue to perform because we’re following the protocols that we set up, and it shows they’re working. People are tested before they get in with everybody else, and if their test is negative, then they get to go on.”
Several performances are on pause at the moment, including Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Aladdin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and The Lion King. Jagged Little Pill also went on pause due to COVID, then producers opted to close the show down for good.
“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,’ producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price said in a statement. “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.”
Broadway has maintained some of the strictest COVID protocols in all entertainment since its reopening, requiring full COVID vaccination and regular testing among its companies as well as full vaccination for all audience members. Its rules were recently updated to extend that vaccination requirement to children as young as five, now that this cohort is eligible for the shot.
St. Martin says that the willingness of the Broadway community to come together and keep to such strict rules has them confident that the industry will be able to weather this hard stretch together and keep the lights on, even if individual productions will have to go on pauses periodically through the winter.
“The biggest success was getting this very disparate group of people and shows to act as a single community,” she says. “To get our whole community to work together and agree upon the kind of protocol and the communication strategies was a heart-lifting, amazing lesson that we all have. That was a great success, which to me bodes well for the future when we may have a variant after omicron. We will work together to ensure the safety and security of everyone.”