Broadway is reeling from the Omicron disaster.
The new musical “Mrs. Doubtfire”, based on the film, is on a 9-week hiatus to avoid shutting down completely. It was announced just before midnight last night that the show, which received mixed reviews, will reopen in March. .
In the meantime, I can tell you that just by looking at his Ticketmaster seating charts, “MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical” will have to do something similar if it ever expects to open on Broadway. Currently, the Neil Simon Theater is 80% unsold through January. Two shows, Wednesday evening January 19 and the following Wednesday, January 26, have already been canceled for lack of sales.
“MJ” is slated to open on February 1, but at the moment the January 31 and February 2 shows are almost completely unsold. Michael Jackson fans will freak out reading this, but this news has nothing to do with Jackson, his reputation, or the media. It’s about Broadway viewers not being ready to return to theaters until the pandemic is resolved.
“Ms. Doubtfire” and “MJ” aren’t the only struggling shows. In London, Andrew Lloyd Weber has shut down his “Cinderella.” In Toronto, “Come from Away” has stopped. In Los Angeles, “Hamilton “takes January off. In New York there will be more closures as Omicron and COVID ravage the month and maybe even February. It all stinks. Even now,” The Music Man “- the new hit on the hotter – is on hiatus until later this week.
It is a winter of great discontent for the performing arts. For the shows to be halted and hope to return, they will need the government money to immediately bail out. The closing of a show like “Mrs. Doubtfire ”means that 115 people are fired from the show itself. But that doesn’t calculate what happens to outside vendors who depend on the day-to-day running of the show, or the restaurants and businesses in the Theater District.