MANHATTAN — The curtains rose once again for Aladdin, the first Broadway show to cancel performances due to a COVID-19 breakthrough, after opening just this week.
When it comes to reopening Broadway shows during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a whole new world.
Trish Schumpf and her daughter Ashton Herndon were devastated Wednesday when they found out they wouldn’t be seeing Aladdin.
Breakthrough COVID cases within the company caused a temporary shutdown, putting a damper on this Aladdin mega fan’s birthday.
“It’s my favorite movie — watched all three growing up, watched the TV show,” said Herndon.
Then, on their last night before heading back to Tennessee, the mother-daughter duo’s wishes were granted.
“We went immediately and bought tickets for tonight knowing we were getting refunded for last night,” said Schimpf.
Disney representatives released a statement saying their extensive protocol system to test employees and identified positive cases worked.
Measures in place include fully vaccinated cast and crew members.
In the last 24 hours, two more rounds of testing have shown no breakthrough cases.
Every cast member in Disney companies is PCR-tested six times a week.
Plus, audience members ages 12 and up must be fully vaccinated.
The President of the Broadway League, Charlotte St. Martin, released a statement saying, “Breakthrough transmission is inevitable. However, given the thoroughness of our COVID protocols and an entirely vaccinated workforce and audience, Broadway is proving to be among the safer activities of daily life.”
Safety comes first.
“It’s very important we don’t want people to get sick out here nowadays,” said Lester Jack, of Brooklyn.
Jack and his wife understand Broadway’s recovering following a long pandemic-related hiatus, and while breakthrough cases are concerning, he and his wife feel safe heading into the show.
“If it got canceled I would understand, but I am very happy it didn’t,” said Jack.
All tickets to Wednesday’s canceled show will be refunded.