Not letting COVID-19 out: Broadway's Aladdin shuts for 12 days to battle virus
"Breakthrough COVID-19 cases" were reported within the musical’s company after just one day of reopening.
The Broadway hit Aladdin is trying to keep COVID-19 contained.
Disney Theatrical Productions said it has cancelled Friday's (Oct 1) performance and all shows until Oct 12 after “additional breakthrough COVID-19 cases were detected”.
The show reopened Tuesday following some 18 months of being shuttered due to the pandemic, but was forced to close Wednesday when breakthrough COVID-19 cases were reported within the musical’s company.
It restarted Thursday but Friday proved too much. In many ways, the temporary closure proves that the monitoring system is working.
"This 12-day pause allows the Aladdin company ample time to ensure that people with breakthroughs recover, and any other potential breakthroughs are identified before the Aladdin company gathers again,” Dr Blythe Adamson, the epidemiologist working with Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement.
So-called breakthrough infections are detected in vaccinated people and tend to be far less dangerous than those unvaccinated.
Dr Adamson said she believes “these positive cases are most likely related to an exposure from one positive case”. She has instituted daily PCR testing. The show vowed to support “affected Aladdin company members as they recover”.
Aladdin, a musical adaptation of the 1992 animated movie starring Robin Williams, opened on Broadway in March 2014 and has become one of its highest grossing shows.
It was the first Broadway COVID-19 cancellation since shows resumed with Bruce Springsteen’s concert returning in July and Pass Over as the first play to debut in August.
The pandemic forced Broadway theatres to abruptly close on March 12, 2020, knocking out all shows and scrambling the spring season.
Several have restarted, including the so-called big three of Wicked, Hamilton and The Lion King.
All tickets for the cancelled performances will be refunded at the original point of purchase.