Broadway is closing again as Omicron continues to spread


"Times Square 2" by photographerglen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

With the Omicron variant raging, and cast members testing positive, Broadway is going dark once again.

Alex Hannah

In May of last year, New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that restrictions would be lifted on Broadway starting in September 2021. With this announcement, three large shows in the industry, Hamilton, Wicked, and The Lion King, set their reopening date for Sept. 14, 2021. Many other lesser known shows followed suit, setting reopening and opening dates all throughout September and October of last year.

But with the Omicron variant raging, and cast members testing positive, Broadway is going dark once again. Some shows are simply canceling for a few weeks, and others are dropping the curtain on their stage once and for all. Jagged Little Pill and several other shows have said they will not open again, while still others try to navigate the uncertain waters of a safe reopening.

As of Monday, Jan. 3, only three shows were open – Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, and Six. Most of the shows were closed, with plans to cancel shows for the rest of the week as well. However, some shows had plans for other days of the week, since Mondays typically don’t draw in many people. Shows like Company, Hadestown, and Hamilton have performances scheduled for the rest of the week, but are taking a day off.

This situation is not a static thing, however, and things could change in a matter of minutes. A positive test could come in from a cast member, and things would have to shut down again. For example, the 7 p.m. Dec. 21 production of Come From Away was canceled five minutes after curtain, with the audience already seated. It was the show’s first cancellation of the season due to COVID-19. This is not the only show with day of and at-curtain cancellations. 

COVID-19 protocols have been put in place by the production team and team manager in order to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Proof of vaccination and masks are required in theaters to see a show.