The Broadway production of "Aladdin" is cancelling more shows for the next several days after additional crew and cast members tested positive with breakthrough cases of COVID-19.
The shows scheduled from October 1st through October 10th are cancelled, with the next performance planned for October 12th, the show’s producers said in a statement on Twitter.
The reopening of "Aladdin" on Tuesday lasted one day before the show was shut down Wednesday after multiple breakthrough COVID-19 cases within the company were detected. After two rounds of testing cast, crew and staff, the show reopened for a performance on Thursday before the announcement Friday to shut down again.
“We apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience this causes ticket holders, but we trust that audiences will agree that safety must be at the forefront of our return to Broadway,” the statement by "Aladdin" showrunners on Twitter said. All tickets for the canceled performances will be refunded.
The difficulties in keeping "Aladdin" open underscore the challenges facing productions after the long-awaited return to Broadway in recent weeks. While "Aladdin" was the first Broadway production to shut down because of COVID, several off-Broadway productions have been affected by breakthrough cases. "Waitress" had a positive test in its cast before its opening performance, but "was able to use testing to determine that the rest of the cast was OK, and then to keep going with an understudy,” according to the New York Times.
The Broadway League trade association also announced the current vaccination requirement for audience, cast, crew and staff will remain in place through the end of the year.
“The owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will continue to require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through the end of the year. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theatre, except while actively eating or drinking in designated locations,” the League said in a press release Friday.
Audience members under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed by a medical provider within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 rapid test taken within six hours of the performance start time.
The League said it will revisit these requirements for 2022 performances in December.
Governor Kathy Hochul said the "Aladdin" outbreak shows the importance of getting vaccinated.
“The only answer is more people getting vaccinated and people in shows being vaccinated, people at concerts being vaccinated, so they can feel confident when they're sitting in a seat for two or three hours finally enjoying an in-person performance that they'll be safe to do so,” Hochul said at her press briefing Thursday.