Forget trouble right here in River City. There’s trouble across Broadway as a result of the recent COVID-19 case surge in New York City. Hugh Jackman confirmed Tuesday he tested positive for the virus and “The Music Man” canceled shows through Jan. 1 as a result. He will return to his starring role Jan. 6.
“Just wanted you to hear it from me. I tested positive for covid. Mild symptoms and as soon as I’m cleared … looking forward to getting back to The Winter Garden!” Jackman wrote on Twitter. He added a video of himself wearing a mask and detailing his symptoms, which he compared to “a cold.” He assured fans he is “fine” and will be “back on stage” soon.
The official account for “The Music Man” beat him to the punch slightly, tweeting just before he did that tickets for shows through Jan. 1 can be refunded or exchanged at point of purchase and advising that performances will resume Jan. 2. After Jackman issued his announcement, the musical’s account confirmed he will return four days after performances resume.
Sutton Foster, who stars opposite Jackman, has been absent from performances amid her own COVID diagnosis. She will return Jan. 2.
An understudy named Kathy Voytko filled in for Foster on Friday. Following the performance, Jackman took time to highlight her performance, informing the crowd that she had only rehearsed in the lead role one time, just hours before the curtain rose.
“It humbles me,” he said as he led the audience in cheering for her. “The courage it brings, the dedication, the talent… The swings — the understudies — they are the bedrock of Broadway.”
Voytko became emotional and Jackman directed the crowd to cheer not only for her, but for all the last-minute replacements who made the show go on amid the ongoing COVID pandemic and recent surge in cases.
“It’s happening all over Broadway,” the veteran actor said. “This is a time we’ve never known.”