UPDATED: Waitress, the Broadway musical featuring music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, has canceled its remaining performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, producers announced tonight. The decision was made after new cases of Covid were detected among the company and crew. The production was to have run through January 9.
Likewise, producers of the groundbreaking Thoughts of a Colored Man at the Golden Theatre announced that the December 22 performance of the show was its last. When Thoughts of a Colored Man opened in October, it made history as the first Broadway show to be written, directed by, starring and lead-produced by Black men. Like others, the Keenan Scott II play, directed by Steven H. Broadnax III, tried to navigate the rising Covid crisis in New York to no avail.
Producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Diana DiMenna, Kandi Burruss, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Samira Wiley issued the following statement:
While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, being part of this historic season on Broadway has been the greatest privilege of our lives. The theatre industry’s great return is about so much more than the success or failure of any single production. As a community, we remain undeterred, unflinching and unstoppable. We have never been prouder to be theater makers than at this very moment.
The announcements follow the cancelation of Jagged Little Pill earlier in the week, which was the first Broadway casualty of December’s Omicron surge in New York, which has sent daily case counts to levels never before seen.
Waitress had an all-female key production team lead by Diane Paulus, with a book by Jessie Nelson, choreography by Lorin Latarro.
Producer Barry Weissler, speaking for his co-producer and wife Fran and himself, said they were heartbroken not to finish the run, but praised “our brilliant creative team,” singling out Bareilles, who they said used “her innate skills as a brilliant pop singer/songwriter to also become a natural Broadway composer/lyricist.”
Below is Weissler’s statement in full:
It has been such an honor to bring Waitress to Broadway. We feel so blessed to have been able to continue playing when Broadway returned in September of this year. We are heartbroken that the Covid virus won’t allow us to finish our glorious scheduled run.
Our brilliant creative team worked together seamlessly to create an exceptional show. Watching Sara Bareilles take her innate skills as a brilliant pop singer/songwriter to also become a natural Broadway composer/lyricist has been especially rewarding to observe. We have also been blessed with the greatest actors, musicians and other company members working in the theatre today who’s dogged commitment has kept the show as fresh as the day we opened.
The Broadway community continues to take the utmost precautions in keeping everyone in our theaters safe. We encourage our patrons to visit BwayToday.com to find another show for their Broadway experience this season.
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