Moulin Rouge! Cancels Performance After Audience Is Seated Due to COVID as Cases on Broadway Surge

Broadway's Moulin Rouge called off a show while the audience was already in their seats due to a positive COVID-19 test within the show's company

moulin rouge musical
Photo: Bruce Glikas/WireImage

A Thursday performance of Broadway's Moulin Rouge! The Musical was canceled after audience members were seated due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Theatergoers at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre were "seated and waiting for the music to start" when the performance was canceled, Deadline reported.

A rep for the production told PEOPLE on Friday in a statement that "last night's performance of Moulin Rouge! The Musical was canceled following a late-in-the-day positive test result in the company."

"Out of an abundance of caution, tonight's performance has also been canceled. The show is expected to resume on Saturday, Dec. 18th at 2:00 PM at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 W 45th Street)," said the statement. "Ticket holders for tonight's performance will be contacted by their point of purchase."

Moulin Rouge! was scheduled for a 7 p.m. performance on Friday and will hold two performances Saturday: a 2 p.m. matinee and an 8 p.m. show.

moulin rouge musical
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Moulin Rouge is the latest musical to cancel a performance due to the coronavirus. In the past week, multiple productions have called off shows, The New York Times reported.

Tina, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Hamilton all canceled previously scheduled performances, joining the Mrs. Doubtfire musical, Freestyle Love Supreme and Ain't Too Proud in canceling shows, per the Times.

Broadway has a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place that requires all audience members, performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff to be vaccinated. Audience members must also wear masks while attending performances.

Producer Hunter Arnold told the Times, "We have to accept that there is going to be some percentage of performances lost to this, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

He added, "What's happening is a challenge for all of us in the industry, because we're in the business of gathering," Mr. McCollum said. "We can't pretend no one has COVID when they have COVID. I'm hoping this will be put into the level of the common cold in the future, but until then, we have to respect it fully."

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Thursday's Moulin Rouge! cancellation comes as New York City is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases. The percentage of people testing positive for the virus doubled in three days, according to NBC New York.

Dr. Jay Varma, a health adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, said "we've never seen this before," along with a graph of test results that he shared on Twitter Thursday.

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