With several Broadway shows canceling performances due to the coronavirus pandemic's surging omicron variant, the musical "Jagged Little Pill" has become the first to close for that reason.
Producers of the show, based on the classic Alanis Morissette album, had announced Saturday that "due to the detection of a limited number of positive COVID test results" among the cast that they were canceling performances through Tuesday. However, on Monday night, the show's representative released a statement saying the musical "will not reopen from its recent suspension of performances due to positive COVID-19 cases detected within the company."
In a statement, producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price said, in part, that the "drastic turn of events this week with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has, once again, changed everything. We are dismayed by what appears to be another substantial public health crisis, and … need to prioritize the health and safety of the cast, crew, and entire team working on 'Jagged Little Pill.' In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we've made the difficult decision to close our doors."
The producers added they "hope and intend to find a way to bring this vibrant and vitalizing musical back to the Broadway stage, once the current crisis is past."
Nominated for 13 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and winning for Diablo Cody's book and for Lauren Patten as Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, "Jagged Little Pill" opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on Dec. 5, 2019, after 36 previews, and played 171 performances. Morissette's namesake album won 1995 Grammy Awards for rock album and for album of the year.
The musical artist has not commented publicly on the show's closing.
On Tuesday, Disney’s "The Lion King" canceled all performances at the Minskoff Theatre through Dec. 26 due to COVID-19 cases detected within the company. The show is expected to resume performances on Dec. 27 at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, Charlotte St. Martin, president of the governing trade association The Broadway League, told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, "We have absolutely no plans to shut down" Broadway in general. "We are paying serious attention to the protocols. The other 20 to 30 shows continue to perform because we're following the protocols that we set up, and it shows they're working. People are tested before they get in with everybody else, and if their test is negative, then they get to go on. … [O]ur number-one priority is safety and security and, if the show is opening, we believe that we have the correct information that says it is safe to open for the cast, the crew and the audience. If we don't feel it's safe, we don't perform that day."