‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ announces two-month hiatus
December is usually a peak time for Broadway show ticket sales, followed by a post-holiday dip in January-February. But this season, with the unprecedented spread of variant COVID-19 Omicron infections, December 2021 has seen daily cancellations, temporary postponements and permanent closures due to positive cast and crew test results, concerns for the health and safety of all. stage, and the economic viability of continued performances during the traditionally slow months. Despite NYC and the Broadway League’s determination to stay open, there have been times in the theater community where each show has to make the difficult individual decision to go ahead or close alone, often at the very last minute before curtain time, based on daily pre-performance monitoring.
The latest Broadway production impacted by Omicron is Mrs. Doubtfire, the new stage musical adaptation of the popular 1993 film, which opened at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on December 5, 2021, after an eighteen-month delay due to the government-mandated closure of Broadway from December 12 March 2020. Per previous diagnoses of Omicron among the crew, producer Kevin McCollum announced yesterday that the show will be taking a nine-week hiatus from January 10 to March 14; he is scheduled to return to the stage on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Tickets are on sale now for performances through November 20, 2022. Audience members who currently hold tickets for performances on March 15 or later will retain their slots. Anyone with tickets during the break can exchange for a later date or get a full refund at the point of purchase.
According to McCollum, “The first few months of a brand new Broadway show are an extraordinarily delicate and important time. With the ubiquity of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Mrs. Doubtfire should close permanently if the production does not take drastic and proactive measures. Concerned about the long-term employment potential of all those who work on Mrs. Doubtfire, and the extended run of the show, we decided that after the January 9 performance, production would shut down for nine weeks and return on March 15.
McCollum went on to say, “Ms. Doubtfire has been in development for six years. We are doing everything in our power to prevent the virus from ending our run on Broadway prematurely. By taking this break, we can afford to run an extended run from March. He added, “Finally, I would like to express my deep and endless admiration for our extraordinary cast, crew, orchestra, creative team and the entire company. They have met every challenge thrown at them over the past two years with a remarkable amount of resilience, good humor, courage and love for each other. They embody the indomitable spirit of Broadway. I can’t wait for audiences to continue enjoying what he created in March!”
The production will continue to follow New York State, City and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all cast, production staff, theater employees and audience members entering the Stephen Sondheim Theater. The theater’s ventilation system is equipped with MERV 15 filtration, in addition to rigorous cleaning and sanitation.
Mrs. Doubtfire runs through Sunday January 9, 2022 and resumes Tuesday March 15, 2022 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 West 43rd Street, New York. For tickets (starting at $49), call (212) 239-6200 or drop by in line. Everyone must present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and valid photo ID to enter the building and must wear a properly fitted mask at all times while inside.