The poor air quality in places like New York due to the ongoing Canadian wildfires has forced the cancelation of top Broadway musicals like Hamilton and the Hollywood writers strike.
The haze and smog have created a thick blanket over the New York City area and caused several Broadway and Off Broadway productions to shut down just days before the Tony Awards. Both Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and the Lincoln Center’s revival of Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot have both been canceled due to poor air quality.
“The hazardous air quality in New York City has made it impossible for a number of our artists to perform this evening,” a spokesperson for Hamilton said in a release on Wednesday. “Shows will resume as scheduled tomorrow. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to visit your point of purchase for refund or exchange.”
The runners of Camelot have also offered to refund tickets to people that will miss the show.
Philadelphia is experiencing its worst air quality in at least 24 years as the noxious haze from the Canadian wildfires blanketing the East Coast this week has caused “hazardous” air quality that city officials say should keep residents indoors until conditions improve.… pic.twitter.com/8cK0oJGppK
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 8, 2023
The air quality became so unbearable that Tony nominee Jodie Comer had to abruptly end the performance of her one-woman play Prima Facie due to her allegedly being unable to breathe. Understudy Dani Arlington immediately took her place.
“Today’s matinee of Prima Facie was halted approximately 10 minutes into the performance after Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing due to the poor air quality in New York City because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires,” a spokesperson told People. “The performance was set to start again from the top with understudy Dani Arlington going on for Ms. Comer in the role of Tessa.”
The Public Theater has also canceled Wednesday’s dress rehearsal for its production of Hamlet at this year’s Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Preview performances have been canceled and opening night has been moved to June 10.
“As the air quality continues to evolve, we are closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the city and the Parks Department,” the Public Theater said in a statement on social media. “Although we rarely make a cancellation call of Free Shakespeare in the Park early, to ensure the safety of our company, crew, onsite staff, and audience members, a decision was made to cancel before the show starts.”
“We hope to resume performances this weekend but will continue to closely monitor the ongoing situation in the days ahead and will share more here and on our website,” they added. “We look forward to sharing this production with you throughout the summer.”
Beyond top productions, the Hollywood writers strike in New York has been put on hold as well due to the ongoing air quality concerns.
“Due to the ongoing air quality concerns in the NYC area we are cancelling pickets for the remainder of the week (Thursday, June 8 & Friday, June 9). Stay safe and take care of yourselves!” the WGA East said on Twitter.
🚨 Picket updates for June 8th & 9th 🚨
Due to the ongoing air quality concerns in the NYC area we are cancelling pickets for the remainder of the week (Thursday, June 8 & Friday, June 9). Stay safe and take care of yourselves!#WGAStrike #WGAStrong #1u pic.twitter.com/JfrU1g4vPQ
— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) June 7, 2023
“With skies that visibly thickened throughout the day, NYC’s Air Quality Index reached a new record of 392 on Wednesday afternoon local time. To put that in context, that later record shattered the “Hazardous” level record established just a few hours earlier in the day. About 55 million people in the region are affected by the horrible air, which has put NYC at or near the top of major cities with the worst air quality in the world” Deadline reported.
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed on Tubi, Google Play, YouTube Movies, or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.
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