A COVID-19 outbreak within Disney’s stage show Aladdin prompted an 11th-hour cancelation of Wednesday evening’s performance, one night after the production joined the return of Broadway’s biggest musicals from a pandemic-induced hiatus.
In a notice posted on Twitter shortly before the curtain was due to go up, producers said testing protocols had detected an unspecified number of “breakthrough” infections among vaccinated members of the Aladdin company at The New York Amsterdam Theatre.
“Because the wellness and safety of our guests, cast, and crew are our top priority, tonight’s performance, Wednesday, September 29th, is canceled,” the tweet said, adding that tickets would be refunded at their points of purchase.
It said the status of future performances of Aladdin, based on Disney’s 1992 animated hit film, would be announced on Thursday, September 30.
A slew of Broadway’s leading shows, among them Hamilton, The Lion King, Wicked, and Chicago, reopened in mid-September, some 18 months after the COVID-19 crisis forced an unprecedented shutdown of New York City’s life theater community. Aladdin had just joined the fray on Tuesday, September 28. Under health safety rules hashed out between theater labor unions and producers, cast and crew members for Broadway shows are required to provide proof of vaccination or a valid exemption in order to work, and must be tested for the coronavirus every three days.
Members of the audience and stagehands are required to wear masks throughout performances.
The 74th annual Tony Awards, skipped during the 2020 season because of the shutdown, was held on Sunday, September 26 in a four-hour ceremony celebrating Broadway’s reopening.
According to the New York Times, Wednesday’s cancelation was the first and only one confirmed for a reopened Broadway production since Springsteen on Broadway kicked off the industry’s return in June. – Rappler.com