Hugh Jackman returns to Broadway's The Music Man after recovering from COVID-19
The (COVID-related) trouble in River City is starting to die down.
Hugh Jackman returned to The Music Man on Broadway Thursday night after recovering from a bout of COVID-19, which forced the musical to cancel a string of performances at the end of December. Jackman, who plays the lead role of Professor Harold Hill, announced his return on social media, sharing a pair of videos ahead of his performance Thursday.
"I can't tell you how good this moment feels. Yes, we're back!" the actor said triumphantly in a video filmed outside the production's theater. "To all those people who had tickets for the last 10 days, I'm so sorry. I hope, I pray, that you'll have a chance to reschedule, but… I'm so excited to be back and to bring this show — which is just pure joy and full of hope and belief and faith — back to Broadway."
Late last month, Jackman revealed via social media that he had tested positive for COVID. "My symptoms are like a cold," he said in a video posted to Twitter and Instagram. "I have a scratchy throat and a bit of a runny nose, but I'm fine. And I'm just gonna do everything i can to get better ASAP. And as soon as I'm cleared, I'll be back on stage, heading to River City."
As a result, The Music Man canceled all performances through the end of the year, setting a return date of Jan. 6 to coincide with Jackman's recovery. Previously, his costar Sutton Foster also tested positive for the virus, leading swing Kathy Voytko to step into her role of Marian Paroo at the last minute.
Indeed, Broadway has been beset with COVID cases of late due to the Omicron coronavirus variant, forcing many shows to cancel or otherwise modify performances.
"This is a time we've never known," Jackman told the crowd after his performance alongside Voytko. "We're in our fourth preview, we're all just sort of learning, so swings and understudies have not had a chance to learn. So to all of these people here — the swings — and I'm emotional because it humbles me, their courage, their brilliance, their dedication, their talent. The swings, the understudies, they are the bedrock of Broadway."
The Music Man is currently playing at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York.