Jagged Little Pill Won't Reopen on Broadway Following COVID-19 Suspension
Jagged Little Pill will not be reopening on Broadway as the ongoing Omicron outbreak continues to paralyze New York City's theater scene.
After initially canceling shows from Saturday to Tuesday, producers of the musical based on the iconic 1995 Alanis Morissette album announced on Monday that it will not return to the Great White Way, making Dec. 17 as the date of its final performance.
The decision was made after "the detection of multiple positive COVID-19 cases within the company," producers told PEOPLE in a statement.
"We are so proud of this extraordinary show, and this extraordinary company, who every night in difficult circumstances, have told the Jagged Little Pill story," producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price said. "This show about healing, human connection, and catharsis, has been a salve to audiences, and to all of us, throughout these trying times. Yet, the drastic turn of events this week with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has, once again, changed everything."
"We are dismayed by what appears to be another substantial public health crisis, and — due to the detection of multiple positive COVID-19 cases within the company — need to prioritize the health and safety of the cast, crew, and entire team working on Jagged Little Pill," they added. "In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we've made the difficult decision to close our doors."
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Jagged's exit comes as Broadway, which was shut down for a year and a half during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, continues to be impacted by the ongoing increase in breakthrough cases.
Last week, nine Broadway productions called off performances, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Freestyle Love Supreme, Mrs. Doubtfire, Ain't Too Proud to Beg, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.
On Monday, the Broadway productions of Hamilton and Aladdin announced they would not hold performances through Christmas due to the breakthrough cases. MJ, the Michael Jackson musical, called off performances until Christmas last week.
It's not just Broadway either. Radio City's iconic Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes also went dark after an uptick in cases. They'll remain closed for the entire season.
Jagged producers said they plan to keep the musical alive in 2022 with forthcoming plans for "subsequent productions" following Jagged Little Pill's recent success in Australia.
"We also hope and intend to find a way to bring this vibrant and vitalizing musical back to the Broadway stage, once the current crisis is past," they said in their release. "There is nothing in the world like live theater. There is no community in the world like this great Broadway family of artists and audiences. We will make it through this, together."
Tickets for canceled shows will be refunded at the original point of purchase, producers noted.
Jagged Little Pill first opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on Dec. 5, 2019.
Written by Academy Award winner Diablo Cody, the musical tackles topics like rape culture and addiction. It follows a family, the Healys, as the cracks beneath their seemingly perfect exterior start to show. Songs such as "You Oughta Know," "Head Over Feet," "Hand In My Pocket," and "Ironic," help tell the story, as well as new ones by Morissette written for the musical.
At closing, the production starred Heidi Blickenstaff, Morgan Dudley, Kathryn Gallagher, Derek Klena, Sean Allan Krill, and Tony-winner Lauren Patten in its leading roles. Among the ensemble was Annelise Bker, Jane Bruce, Runako Campbell, John Cardoza, Ken Wulf Clark, Janine Divita, Logan Hart, Max Kumangai, Heather Lang, Veronica Otim, Wren Rivera, Adi Roy, and Kei Tsuruharatani. Swings Yeman Brown, Zach Hess, Kelsey Orem, Deanne Stewart, and Grace Slear rounded out the company.
Though the show won acclaim, including two Tony awards and a Grammy for its cast album, the show did face controversy over Patten's character Jo Taylor, who was originally written and played as non-binary during a run in Boston. However, when the show went to Broadway, the role was depicted as a gay, cisgender female.
Producers spoke to the "reasonable and deeply felt upset around the issues of transparency and accountability and the character of Jo" in a Twitter statement in September, detailing several actions taken in response.