Hamilton and Aladdin on Broadway have canceled performances through Christmas due to breakthrough COVID-19 cases, becoming the second and third major musicals to go dark during the normally busy holiday week.
The hit rap musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton announced on social media Monday that performances from Dec. 20 and through Dec. 26 are canceled and will be fully refunded. The announcement extends the show’s shutdown from last week, after first canceling performances starting the night of Dec. 17 due to positive cases.
“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.” Information on upcoming performances will be shared “as soon as possible,” the message added.
Disney’s long-running hit Aladdin, meanwhile, has canceled all performances from Dec. 21 through Dec. 24, with plans to resume shows on Dec. 26. “Through our continuing rigorous testing protocols, additional breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been detected within the company of Aladdin at The New Amsterdam Theatre,” read the statement posted to Twitter on Monday, adding that the “wellness and safety of our guests, cast, and crew are our top priority.” Tickets will also be refunded.
MJ, which follows the making of the late Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous world tour, was the first Broadway musical to nix Christmas week shows as a result of multiple positive COVID-19 test results. On Friday, producers for the show canceled preview performances from Dec. 17 through Dec. 26. The show is slated to open Feb. 1, 2022.
The holiday week, one of Broadway’s busiest times of the year, comes as New York City is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases amid the rise of the highly contagious omicron variant. For the third day in a row on Sunday, New York reported a record level of daily positive cases, with federal and state officials warning of an incoming wave across the state and country. “It is going to be a tough few weeks, months, as we get deeper into the winter,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Heading into the Christmas week, nine of the 32 operating shows had canceled some performances due to breakthrough cases, also including Moulin Rouge!, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Tina, Freestyle Love Supreme, Jagged Little Pill, Mrs. Doubtfire and Ain’t Too Proud.
The holiday performance schedule is set to bring additional matinee shows for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, providing the opportunity for a key boost in ticket sales following the industry’s reopening after its year-plus pandemic shutdown. In 2019, the week ending Dec. 29 saw Broadway gross more than $55 million in ticket sales, per the Broadway League. Proof of vaccination and a masking mandate is in place for audiences at any Broadway show.
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of omicron’s arrival, multiple industry members said that, financially, Broadway could likely withstand only a single major relaunch and hoped to avoid major COVID-related shutdowns as much as possible.
This story was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.