More COVID casualties on Broadway, but playwrights step in to save the show

Local News

THEATER DISTRICT, Manhattan — There’s a lot of scrambling and many cancellations of Broadway shows because of the COVID surge at this most lucrative time of the year for the industry in the days leading up to Christmas.

“We just learned in the last 45 minutes by text that Come From Away is a COVID casualty,” Patty Mulvey, a Broadway lover visiting the city, told PIX11 News.

Mulvey, of Philadelphia, splurged on $1,100 worth of tickets to see Come From Away for herself, her husband and her two grown sons — only to find out two hours before showtime that the matinee had been canceled because of breakthrough COVID cases in the cast.

Mulvey, like thousands of other Broadway fans, was left scrambling at the TKTS booth to see what other shows were still available.

“We’re not sure [what we will do] yet,” Mulvey told PIX11 News. “We have dinner reservations, so we’re staying in New York for the day. It’s great in the holidays, maybe we’ll get to do some shopping,” she added.

At least 17 Broadway plays and musicals are on pause because of breakthrough COVID cases among cast and crew, and while refunds are available immediately at point of purchase, Broadway producers are hoping theater lovers will just try a different show.

“Everything — everything that is on right now is just so extraordinary,” Tom D’Angora, a Broadway producer, told PIX11 News. “The actors, the crew, everyone is working so hard. Please support the industry. You’ll discover a new favorite. What a wonderful holiday gift.”

Playwright Keenan Scott II, a Queens native, never dreamed he’d make his Broadway debut in the play he wrote: Thoughts of a Colored Man. But that’s exactly what happened to him last night in this first Broadway show ever written, directed by, starring and produced by Black men

The 34-year-old Scott, book in hand, played a 65-year-old character named Wisdom, after one cast member had COVID and two others had other illnesses — and there were only two understudies.

“It was exhilarating. I did not think I would ever get to Broadway this way,” Keenan Scott II, told PIX11 News. “It was great. These are my brothers. It was a great feeling.”

To find out more about what Broadway shows are still performing despite the COVID surge and to find out more about refund policies, go to bwaytoday.com.

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