Disney's Aladdin Resumes Broadway Production After COVID Outbreak

It's been a wild couple of days for Broadway. Disney's Aladdin returned to the stage this week but was forced to shut down after only one performance due to a COVID-19 outbreak. According to the reports, members of the company tested positive for COVID-19 during the routine testing protocols, which forced Disney to cancel the performance scheduled for Wednesday, September 29th at the New Amsterdam Theatre. However, it appears things are back on track. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Aladdin will resume performances tonight.

Broadway re-opened on September 14th, and the Aladdin shutdown marked the first for the theatre district. The theatres are working at 100% capacity with both vaccine and mask protocols for cast, crew, theater employees, and audiences. "Our extensive protocol system to test our employees and identify positive cases worked and allowed us to act immediately to contain them," Disney Theatrical's statement reads. "Given the thoroughness of our Covid protocols and a vaccinated workforce, we remain confident that the environment is safe for our guests, cast, crew, and musicians."

THR adds that Aladdin has six full-time COVID safety supervisors on staff, which exceeds the Actors Equity requirement. In addition to requiring all members of Disney Theatrical's companies who are eligible to be fully vaccinated, cast members the Frozen North American tour and The Lion King on Broadway and on tour are PCR-tested six times a week.

Aladdin has been in operation since 2014, making it one of the longer-running shows currently on Broadway. However, the show had not held a performance for eighteen months before re-opening this week. New York City is currently averaging about 1,400 new COVID-19 cases a day, with the city being the first to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities such as dining, entertainment, and gyms. 

Aladdin has cast a new Aladdin and Jasmine, Michael Maliakel and Shoba Narayan, respectively. Maliakel is making his Broadway debut in the title role, and Michael James Scott is returning as Genie with Tony Award-nominee Jonathan Freeman playing Jafar, reprising his role from the animated film. The show also features Milo Alosi, Zach Bencal, and Brad Weinstock as Aladdin's sidekicks Kassim, Babkak, and Omar, as well as JC Montgomery as Sultan, and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago. Juwan Crawley, Dennis Stowe, and Frank Viveros stand by for several leads.

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