‘A Strange Loop’ Cancels First Broadway Preview Due To Covid – Deadline

UPDATE, with Matthew Broderick announcement Matthew Broderick has tested positive for Covid and will miss tonight’s performance of Broadway’s Plaza Suite, producers announced. His wife and co-star Sarah Jessica Parker has tested negative and will perform this evening.

In a statement released just an hour before showtime, producers said Broderick had maintained strict adherence to Covid safety protocols but that a second test confirmed the diagnosis.

“Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery,” the statement said. The statement did not indicate when Broderick is expected to resume performances at the Hudson Theatre.

Previous:  A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer-winning musical, has canceled its first Broadway preview, originally set for Wednesday, due to cases of Covid detected within the company. Previews now are expected to begin Thursday, April 7, at the Lyceum Theatre with understudies in some roles.

The show becomes the second Broadway production in as many weeks to cancel performances due to Covid. Last week, producers of Macbeth starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga put the production on pause due to what they said was a limited number of Covid cases detected; star Daniel Craig was widely reported to have been one of the cases.

Performances of Macbeth, at the Longacre Theatre, currently are canceled through April 7, with a return expected on April 8. Macbeth is scheduled to officially open April 28.

Opening night for A Strange Loop is scheduled for April 26. Directed by Stephen Brackett, with choreography by Raja Feather Kelly, it stars Jaquel Spivey, in his Broadway debut, as Usher, described by the production as “a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer writing a musical about a Black, queer writer…” The play won Jackson the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Also in the cast are Antwayn Hopper, L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, James Jackson, Jr., John-Andrew Morrison and Jason Veasey. Understudies include Edwin Bates, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Jon-Michael Reese and Mars Rucker.

The cancelations come as New York City experiences an uptick in Covid cases due to a spike in the omicron variant BA.2. While New York City’s daily case average is up, hospitalizations and deaths remain on a steady decline.

Broadway recently reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining Covid protocols of vaccine and mask mandates at least through April 30.

Also today, New York’s Public Theater said that a number of positive Covid cases within the company of the new musical SUFFS have been detected, including for composer and star Shaina Taub. Although Wednesday’s scheduled press opening is expected to go on as planned, Taub will be out of the show for 10 days, returning April 16. Holly Gould will play the role of suffragist Alice Paul in Taub’s absence.

Although the Public will proceed with the opening-night performance, a post-show reception is being postponed.

The production of SUFFS, with book, music and lyrics by Taub and directed by Leigh Silverman, is a much anticipated world premiere of a musical about the American women’s suffrage movement. The large cast also includes Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo.

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