Dec. 9, 2021 -- The Radio City Rockettes abruptly cancelled four performances of their “Christmas Spectacular” show on Friday morning because of the spread of COVID-19. By the end of the day, the Rockettes cancelled the rest of the show’s run.
“We regret that we are unable to continue the Christmas Spectacular this season due to increasing challenges from the pandemic,” the Rockettes said on Twitter. “We had hoped we could make it through the season and are honored to have hosted hundreds of thousands of fans at more than 100 shows over the last seven weeks.”
In an earlier tweet, The Rockettes said the Friday shows were cancelled because of “breakthrough COVID-19 cases in the production.”
The show was scheduled to run through Jan. 2 with multiple performances each day. People who bought tickets for canceled shows will receive refunds, the Rockettes said, adding that they look forward to performing again in 2022.
The New York Times reported that some employees had worried about COVID protocols at Radio City Music Hall. All “Christmas Spectacular” employees were required to be vaccinated but COVID testing was not required. Masks were recommended but not required for employees and audience members, The Times said.
The Madison Square Garden Entertainment company, which produces the show and owns the theater, says the COVID protocols were safe and developed in conjunction with health and safety experts.
COVID and the rapidly transmitted Omicron variant have been blamed for other cancellations on Broadway.
Seven of 32 shows on Broadway canceled performances on Friday, including “Hamilton,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Tina,” and “Moulin Rouge!” It was unclear when the shows might reopen.
“At the end of the day, we’ll follow the science, and the science will say, ‘You need to shut down this performance,’” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We anticipated that because they were telling us all along that if more people didn’t get their shots, that new variants would arrive and new variants would have cases. And guess what? It’s called Omicron.”