‘Skeleton Crew’ Broadway opening night pushed due to COVID-19

The hugely anticipated play starts Phylicia Rashad and was set to open on Broadway later this month.

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Broadway shows continue to take major hits as the omicron variant continues to surge. Among them is Skeleton Crew, which has pushed back its opening date for a second time after according to the Manhattan Theatre’s Twitter account.

Skeleton Crew was set to be one of the first shows to open in 2022 on Broadway, with Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad starring in the acclaimed play by Dominique Morisseau. On Monday, the Manhattan Theatre Club made an official announcement regarding future performances of the play, as it began previews in late December.

While the tweet did not specify which company members were positive with the virus, it was tweeted that “due to breakthrough COVID cases in the company,” performances were cancelled through Jan. 9.

"Once On This Island" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Call
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 03: Phylicia Rashad attends the “Once On This Island” Broadway Opening Night at Circle in the Square Theatre on December 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

The official synopsis of the popular play reads: “In 2008 Detroit, a small automotive factory is on the brink of foreclosure, and a tight knit family of workers hangs in the balance. With uncertainty everywhere, the line between blue collar and white collar becomes blurred, and this working family must reckon with their personal loyalties, their instincts for survival and their ultimate hopes for humanity.”

While the play originally premiered in New York in 2016, this year marks the official Broadway debut for the project.

The postponement joins a long list of Broadway shows that were affected by the COVID-19 surge. That list includes HamiltonAladdin, Lion KingDear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Music Man and more. Shows have also announced permanent closing dates as well, including Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations (which Morisseau adapted into a book), DianaJagged Little Pill, Waitress and the new play, Thoughts of a Colored Man.

Broadway Shows Forced To Cancel Performances Due To Covid Cases
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 16: A view of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations” signage at the Imperial Theatre on December 16, 2021 in New York City. Several shows, including “Hamilton” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” announced canceled performances this week due to Covid breakthrough cases. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Morriseau took to Instagram days before previews started for Skeleton Crew to speak to opening the show amid the uncertain times in the theater industry. She wrote, “Theatre in Times of Uncertainty. And here we are, working on Broadway to premiere my play SKELETON CREW – a story about auto workers doing their jobs in times of uncertainty. Life imitating art is the realest sh-t anybody ever said.”

She continued, “I’m so damn proud of this literal “Skeleton Crew” of workers, who have put their SOULS into the process of this show.  From our GENUIS [sic] cast.  To our BRILLIANT design team.  To our WARRIOR stage management team.   Everything about this production is the stuff Detroit is made of.”

While previews are scheduled to resume on Jan. 9, an official opening night date has yet to be announced.

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