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Theatergoers Disappointed As More Broadway Shows Cancel Performances Due To Breakthrough COVID Cases

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- COVID is canceling Broadway productions just when the industry was looking to bounce back during the holiday season.

At "Hadestown," the show is not going on this weekend.

COVID-caused closings threw a wrench into what were carefully mapped out plans for theater fan Shoshana Ezekiel, who is visiting from London.

"And everything is closing down. I'm turning 18 in a few weeks, so it was a very, very early birthday present to come and see a bunch of Broadway shows," she told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

At least seven Broadway shows temporarily shut down Saturday due to breakthrough COVID cases. Off-Broadway shows have been affected, too.

COVID VACCINE

The Radio City Rockettes announced Friday that they would not complete their season, canceling all remaining "Christmas Spectacular" performances.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater canceled all remaining shows, as well.

"Jersey Boys," now off-Broadway at New World Stages, went dark less than an hour before curtain for the Saturday matinee.

Frank and Carrie Howe, visiting from Denver, had to rearrange their weekend. "Jersey Boys" was the second show to cancel on them.

"We went to the Radio City Rockettes yesterday. Eleven o'clock, we sat down, they canceled it," Frank Howe said. "Can't catch a break. And so we understand as far as the COVID stuff. In all fairness to their customers, they should be making a little bit better of a protocol decision."

For theatergoers left holding tickets for shows that are temporary closed, finding something else to see at the last minute is frustrating.

"It's disappointing, but I understand it, just for safety," said Deja Russell, a tourist from Florida. "We're just rocking with what we got, I guess. Just doing whatever we can."

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer wants more emergency government funding for the arts, knowing when Broadway hurts, tourists stay home and the economy suffers.

"I think this industry is helping itself tremendously in terms of how they're focused on the health care of the audience and the actors, but I do think that there could always be more money supporting this extremely expensive effort," she said.

Brewer thinks booster mandates are needed industry-wide.

"I would suggest yes to the booster," she said.

Leaders of the Broadway League say booster discussions are ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Public Theater in Astor Place is now requiring ticketholders show both proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test taken within the past 24 hours.

With the frequency of these COVID cancelations increasing, the Broadway League has set up the website BwayToday.com to help theatergoers find up-to-date info on performance schedules, including cancellations.

Editor's note: This story was first published Dec. 18.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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