The Radio City Rockettes perform onstage during The Radio City Rockettes’ Christmas show at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Stephen Ferdman | Getty Images
Visitors to New York can watch the famous outdoor Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center this holiday season, but they won’t be able to walk through the block and see Radio City Musical Hall’s “Christmas Show”.
The stars of this show, the Rockettes, have been sidelined by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Just a week before Christmas Eve, the Radio City Rockettes’ Christmas Show announced the end of the 2021 season, which previously ended on January 2.
“We regret not being able to continue the ‘Christmas Show’ this season due to the increasing concerns surrounding the pandemic,” the show said in a statement on Friday.
It has been a tough week for live performances. Show after show on Broadway have been canceled as coronavirus variants are fueling a new spike in Covid cases in the city.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical canceled its Thursday night performance with audiences in their seats after a company employee tested positive.
Production has started and stopped since the theater industry reopened in the Big Apple in September. Aladdin, Chicken and Cookies, Chicago and Angry, as well as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were forced to cancel their performances or close due to breakthrough deals.
However, these incidents have become more frequent in recent weeks, as the Covid omicron variant has led to an increase in cases, even among those who received the full vaccination.
On Wednesday, the jukebox Tina, about legendary singer Tina Turner, canceled both performances, the Harry Potter show canceled the matinee, and Hamilton interrupted the evening performance.
A sign indicating the cancellation of Mrs Doubtfire performances due to Covid is displayed in a window at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on December 16, 2021 in New York City.
Dia Dipasupil | Getty Images
Mrs Doubtfire, the new musical adaptation of the hit comedy film, previously canceled four performances from Sunday through Wednesday. In addition, Freestyle Love Supreme canceled three shows, Ain’t Too Proud canceled one, and the off-Broadway revival Little Shop of Horrors canceled four.
Broadway has taken precautions to ensure that workers and spectators are vaccinated and attendees must wear masks when performing. In many cases, company members and workers who tested positive were asymptomatic or showed only mild symptoms. But they are not allowed to return until they are found to be no longer infectious.
In some cases, production may have continued even if one of the actors tested positive for Covid-19 and were replaced by stunt doubles or swingers.
While the audience generally understands these cancellations, disruptions are costly for productions, especially those that are just getting started. While highly acclaimed shows are anchors in the Broadway community and will be reborn, new productions face bigger challenges.
For example, Chicken and Cookies, a comedy about a family reunited at a funeral, closed permanently at the end of November.
While ticket holders in the NYC metro area may opt for rebooking, tourists who often travel on purpose to see Broadway shows are less fortunate.
In a typical year, tourists account for 65% of Broadway ticket sales. They also spend extra money on transportation, food, and hotels. Frequent cancellations, especially during the peak holiday season, may deter these travelers from purchasing tickets due to concerns that the show will be canceled before curtain time.