Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Broadway musical halts after coronavirus outbreak – one day after reopening

Disney announcement regarding Aladdin. The Broadway musical has two Indian-Americans as the lead actors. Photo Twitter @aladdin

The Disney musical “Aladdin” has been forced to temporarily cancel its Broadway show in New York due to a coronavirus outbreak – just one night after reopening.

Hours after Disney tweeted “Broadway is back,” the company issued a statement saying that some of its company members had tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the show to come to a halt once again.

“Through our rigorous testing protocols, breakthrough covid-19 cases have been detected within the company of ALADDIN at the New Amsterdam Theatre,” Disney Theatrical Group said in a statement Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, referring to infections that occur in people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

It did not specify how many cases were found but said that the “wellness and safety of our guests, cast and crew,” was a top priority and apologized for the inconvenience.

Featuring a large, diverse cast, the immersive show is set in the Middle East and based on the 1992 Disney animated film. It features a flying carpet, genie and popular songs including “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World.”

The rambunctious musical debuted on Broadway in 2014 but, like other shows, recently celebrated its return to Broadway after an 18-month hiatus because of the pandemic. It had only completed one performance after reopening on Tuesday before shutting down again due to the positive cases.

Theater critics had predicted that Broadway, and the rest of New York’s cultural life, was on the cusp of a vibrant rebound, but the Aladdin shutdown highlights the difficulties still faced by the entertainment industry as it seeks to rebuild momentum.

In August, New York became the first major U.S. city to begin requiring people to show proof of coronavirus vaccinations for indoor activities such as dining, entertainment and working out at gyms. New York City is averaging around 1,400 new covid-19 cases each day, according to city data, with a test positivity rate of about 3 percent – a rate that signals outbreaks can be controlled with adequate testing, experts say.

Tickets for the canceled Aladdin performance would be refunded, Disney said, and the “status of future performances” would be updated on Thursday.

Nonetheless, most audience members will still need to wear a mask, be fully vaccinated or provide negative tests to attend performances of Aladdin until at least Jan. 2, the company said.





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