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Producers behind the Broadway show, which opened Dec. 5 at New York City’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre, announced Sunday that the project would go on a nine-week hiatus. The break will run from Jan. 10 through March 14.
“With the pervasiveness of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Mrs. Doubtfire would have to close permanently if the production didn’t take drastic, proactive measures,” a statement read, in part. “Mrs. Doubtfire has been in development for six years. We are doing everything in our power to keep the virus from prematurely ending our run on Broadway. By taking this break, we can afford to launch an extended run starting in March.”
The statement went on to praise the show’s “extraordinary” team for their resilience throughout the ongoing pandemic. The show, starring Rob McClure in the title role, is based on director Chris Columbus’ 1993 comedy film that featured Robin Williams and Sally Field.
“They embody the indomitable spirit of Broadway,” the message continued about the live show’s team. “I cannot wait for audiences to continue to enjoy what they have created in March!”
A producer for the show told The New York Times that 115 employees will be laid off amid the move, with the intention of them being rehired when production resumes. The show had previously canceled 11 performances throughout the holiday season due to the omicron variant.
In a review for The Hollywood Reporter, critic Frank Scheck said Broadway’s Mrs. Doubtfire “delivers enough solid laughs to compensate for it being yet another in a seemingly endless procession of uninspired screen-to-stage musical adaptations.”
Broadway productions have been upended by a surge in COVID-19 cases. Five shows announced plans in December to unexpectedly close, including musicals Ain’t Too Proud, Diana, Jagged Little Pill and Waitress, along with the play Thoughts of a Colored Man.
Numerous other shows have temporarily gone dark in recent weeks due to health reasons stemming from the pandemic. Last month, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin told The Hollywood Reporter that Broadway as a whole has no plans to shut down but would work with epidemiologists to potentially adjust current protocols.
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