Radio City Rockettes cancel Friday ‘Christmas Spectacular’ shows over COVID cases


Is this December 2021, or March 2020? The Radio City Rockettes have canceled the rest of their Christmas shows due to breakthrough COVID cases in the production, which comes the same week several college campuses and Broadway shows have also closed over outbreaks of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including the worrisome new omicron variant.

The Madison Square Garden Entertainment company, which owns the Radio City Music Hall theater and produces the Rockettes’ “Christmas Spectacular” showcase, made the announcement Friday.  “We regret that we are unable to continue the Christmas Spectacular this season due to increasing challenges from the pandemic,” the statement said. “All tickets for impacted shows will be fully refunded at the point of purchase.”

The cancelation comes the same week that several Broadway shows were also canceled in light of COVID outbreaks among cast and crew, including “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and the Tina Turner musical “Tina.” Indeed, six of the 32 current shows on the Great White Way scrapped performances on Thursday, the New York Times reported.

Several colleges and universities, including Cornell and George Washington University, have also started shutting down parts of their campuses, canceling in-person events and activities, and moving final exams online as COVID outbreaks have spread among their student populations.  And on Thursday, President Joe Biden warned that, “We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm,” especially as the omicron variant continues to fuel a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across the country, including NYC, which was the U.S. epicenter of the first wave of COVID infections in 2020. In fact, COVID testing lines are growing around the Big Apple and in other U. S. cities again, giving some people flashbacks of the lockdowns and remain-in-place orders at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

It should be noted, of course, that compared to early 2020, we now have COVID-19 vaccines and better treatments, more tests, and Pfizer has a promising COVID-19 antiviral on deck, so the country is in a better position to prevent and treat COVID than it was almost two years ago.

Coronavirus update: Unvaccinated Americans facing ‘winter of severe illness and death,’ Biden warns, as omicron starts to spread across the U.S. The U.S. is reporting about 1,300 COVID deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, and cases are averaging more than 124,000, up 31% from two weeks ago.

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