The revival’s leading man took to Instagram on Tuesday to share the news of his breakthrough case. “I just wanted you to hear from me that I tested positive this morning for COVID. My symptoms are like a cold — I have a scratchy throat and a bit of a runny nose,” the actor said in a brief 30-second Instagram video. “But I’m fine and I’m just going to 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.”
The musical announced on its official Twitter Tuesday that all performances are canceled through Jan. 1, with the Music Man company expected to return to the stage at the Winter Garden Theater on Jan. 2. Tickets for the production’s holiday season shows will be refunded. The highly anticipated revival, which was expected to open in September 2020 before the pandemic shut Broadway down for months, began previews on Monday, Dec. 20, but had to cancel its Dec. 25 performance and Dec. 26 matinee citing COVID breakthrough cases.
The news of The Music Man’s extended show cancelations comes days after Jackman’s co-star Sutton Foster confirmed she had tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas Eve in her own Instagram story shared Friday, after missing a preview performance on Thursday, Dec. 23. At the time, both of the Broadway show’s stars celebrated the company’s understudies and swings who helped the show go on despite Foster’s positive COVID test.
In her Instagram story, Foster thanked company member and swing Kathy Voytko, who found out Thursday at noon that she would be replacing the Younger actress in the lead role of Marian Proo. “Grateful to Kathy and our incredible company. Grateful to all swings and understudies who keep all the shows going, now and always,” Foster wrote in her story.
Jackman also celebrated The Music Man’s understudies and swings, in a post-show curtain speech. “All over Broadway, this is a time we’ve never known. We’re in our fourth preview. We’re all just sort of learning,” Jackman said. “Swings and understudies have not had a chance to learn. They watch from the corner of a room while we rehearse, while we get to practice over and over again. They just get to watch and write notes and then five hours before our performances they’re told, ‘You’re on.’”
“The courage, the brilliance, the dedication, the talent of the swings, the understudies — they are the bedrock of Broadway,” Jackman added.
On Christmas, the Jackman-led show joined a growing number of Broadway productions that shut down during the holiday week, with some like Broadway’s SIX extending their show cancelations through the end of the year. Others, like David Byrne’s American Utopia, are reworking their shows to help compensate for the breakthrough cases within the company. The singer announced in a video message that his special Tony-winning musical will feature songs by Talking Heads and from his solo catalog to supplement songs already in the show in an “unplugged” or “unchained” version of American Utopia that will run through end-of-year performances.
All performances of Broadway’s The Music Man are canceled through January 1. All tickets can be refunded or exchanged at point of purchase. Performances will resume on Sunday, January 2. Sending you warm wishes for the New Year from the entire company of The Music Man.
— The Music Man on Broadway (@MusicManBway) December 28, 2021
This story was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.