The Broadway community is again facing challenges as the spike in coronavirus cases, fueled by the Omicron variant continues to take a growing toll on the theater business. “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” the new play about one day in the life of a group of African American men in Brooklyn, closed after two days because they were short of performers but was able to keep going only because the playwright, Keenan Scott II, stepped in to perform. The play, which began previews on Oct. 1 and opened on Oct. 13, had been scheduled to run until March 13.

Also closing early was the return engagement of “Waitress,” (which began performances Sept. 2) and was scheduled to run until Jan. 9, also closed after missing several performances because of coronavirus cases in the cast or crew.

But in the spirit of the people that make Broadway work — the show must go on — and although several company members of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show, David Byrne’s AMERICAN UTOPIA, are isolated at home this week with positive COVID test results. Rather than canceling shows, David Byrne and the AMERICAN UTOPIA band will return to the St. James Theatre on Tuesday, December 28th with an exciting new performance for audiences coming to see AMERICAN UTOPIA over the holidays.

David Byrne explains, “Fortunately, the vaccinated band members and crew who have tested positive don’t have severe symptoms and are staying home following the CDC guidelines. Unfortunately, they can’t come to the theatre for the next week or so, which means we’ve chosen to make some creative changes to enable us to put on a show.”

“What we are doing could be called “Unplugged,” or maybe “Unchained.”

“We are adding some songs by Talking Heads as well as songs from my solo catalog, that will supplement songs already in AMERICAN UTOPIA.”

“I know it’s going to be a “Once in a Lifetime” experience, that will only be seen for a few performances. We are ready to have a good time!”

Tickets for AMERICAN UTOPIA are on sale through April 3, 2022, at www.americanutopiabroadway.com.

This week, AMERICAN UTOPIA plays the following schedule:

2021

Tuesday, December 28 at 8 PM

Wednesday, December 29 at 8 PM

Thursday, December 30 at 5 PM and 9PM

2022

Saturday, January 1 at 5 PM

Sunday, January 2 at 3 PM

www.AmericanUtopiaBroadway.com

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And on December 27, Manhattan Theatre Club’s (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director and Barry Grove, Executive Producer) Broadway premiere of “Skeleton Crew”, written by Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau and directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, began performances at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street).

The production will open Wednesday, January 19, 2022, and stars Chanté Adams, Joshua Boone, Brandon J. Dirden, Adesola Osakalumi, and Tony Award winner and five-time Emmy Award nominee Phylicia Rashad.

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. The New York Times gives this astonishing work a Critic’s Pick and cheers, “A very fine new play… warm-blooded, astute, deeply moral and deeply American.” The Amsterdam News hails it as “a prime example of how theatre imitates life… intense, touching and funny.”

The full creative team for Skeleton Crew includes Michael Carnahan (scenic design), Emilio Sosa (costume design), Rui Rita (lighting design), Rob Kaplowitz (original music and sound design), Nicholas Hussong (projection design), Jimmy Keys aka “J. Keys” (original music and lyrics), Adesola Osakalumi (choreography), Cookie Jordan (hair & wig design), and Kamra A. Jacobs (production stage manager).

HEALTH AND SAFETY INFORMATION

MTC has aligned with our Broadway colleagues in setting safety protocols. Proof of vaccination and a valid I.D. will be required to enter the theatre. Masks must be worn at all times. For more specific information go to: manhattantheatreclub.com/protocols.

TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets for Skeleton Crew are available online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre box office (261 West 47th Street).

MTC SUBSCRIPTIONS AND PATRON MEMBERSHIPS

To join MTC’s season of plays as a Subscriber or a Patron, call the MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050 or go to www.manhattantheatreclub.com.

To sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 35” program, offering $30 tickets for theatregoers age 35 and under, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under35/.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

·      WEEK OF DECEMBER 27: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM; Saturday at 8 PM; Matinee on Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF JANUARY 3: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF JANUARY 10: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF JANUARY 17: Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM. The opening night performance time on Wednesday, January 19 is at 7 PM.

·      WEEK OF JANUARY 24: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF JANUARY 31: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF FEBRUARY 7: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM.

·      WEEK OF FEBRUARY 14: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM.

Support for Skeleton Crew is provided by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

We will continue to post regular progress reports on our website at www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com/edi. 

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