Disney’s production of “Aladdin” on Broadway has shut down for another two weeks after additional breakthrough COVID-19 cases were reported among the show’s company on Friday.
“Aladdin” first resumed performances at The New Amsterdam Theatre on Tuesday after an 18-month shutdown due to the pandemic. Just one day later, it was forced to cancel a performance because of breakthrough COVID-19 cases.
“Aladdin” then had another performance on Thursday, which the show said was done safely after turning in negative PCR tests. But with additional cases detected on Friday, the production has announced it will cancel all performances through Sunday, Oct. 10. The next scheduled performance is on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“Because the wellness and safety of our guests, cast and crew remain our top priority, we feel the prudent decision is to cancel performances starting tonight,” the “Aladdin” team said in a statement on Friday. “We will continue to provide support to the affected ‘Aladdin’ company members as they recover. 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.”
Tickets for canceled performances will be refunded at the original point of purchase.
The announcement of the canceled performances was also accompanied by a statement from Blythe Adamson, the epidemiologist working with Disney Theatrical Productions.
“Given my evaluation of this real-world data, I believe these positive cases are most likely related to an exposure from one positive case. 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,” she said. “Daily PCR testing allows us the opportunity to detect a positive case before it is contagious.”
Adamson continued: “This allows us to isolate it before anyone else is put at risk, as we have done several times with the ‘Aladdin’ company. Morning and evening swabs collected on Thursday returned highly accurate negative molecular PCR test results for all cast, crew and musicians that affirmed a safe performance environment for our company and audience.”
Broadway staff, cast and crew are required to be fully vaccinated, so the COVID-19 cases from both Wednesday and Friday were considered to be “breakthrough cases” that were discovered through rigorous testing protocols. Broadway audiences are also required to show vaccination proof and wear masks throughout shows.
“Aladdin” has now become the first suspended Broadway production since the shutdown on March 12, 2020, which halted business for most of the entertainment world. It was announced in May that full Broadway performances would resume this month after the hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier on Friday, the Broadway League announced that all venues would continue to require proof of vaccination through at least the end of the year. The policy will be reviewed at that point for possible further extension.