As the new COVID-19 variant continues to surge, the curtain has fallen on two more Broadway shows.

The COVID hits to Broadway continue, as Waitress and Thoughts of a Colored Man become the latest casualties of a new variant surge that has caused multiple shows to shutter ahead of schedule.

On Thursday, the smash-hit musical Waitress announced that it would be making the decision to cancel its remaining performances due to new cases of COVID being detected in the cast and crew. The show, which returned to Broadway in September following a four-year run, was originally scheduled to perform through Jan. 9, 2022.

In a statement, producer Barry Weissler — speaking for himself and his co-producer and wife, Fran — said, "It has been such an honor to bring Waitress to Broadway. We feel so blessed to have been able to continue playing when Broadway returned in September of this year. We are heartbroken that the COVID virus won't allow us to finish our glorious scheduled run.

"Our brilliant creative team worked together seamlessly to create an exceptional show," Weissler continued. "Watching Sara Bareilles take her innate skills as a brilliant pop singer/songwriter to also become a natural Broadway composer/lyricist has been especially rewarding to observe. We have also been blessed with the greatest actors, musicians and other company members working in the theatre today who's dogged commitment has kept the show as fresh as the day we opened."

Credit: Matt Murphy

Waitress opened on April 16, 2016, making Broadway history as a show with an all-female production team. With music and lyrics by Bareilles in her musical theater debut, the show will have played close to 1,500 performances at the time of its closure. Ciara Renée and Joshua Henry were starring in the show when it took its final bows.

"This is a gut punch of the highest degree," Bareilles wrote on Twitter following news of the show's closing. "Thank you for everything. This cast. This company. This community. May we all be so lucky. Forever I love you."

Along with Waitress, the play Thoughts of a Colored Man — which also made Broadway history as the first show to be written, directed by, starring, and lead produced by Black men — announced it had played its last performance Dec. 22.

"While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, being part of this historic season on Broadway has been the greatest privilege of our lives," the show's producers said in a statement. "The theater industry's great return is about so much more than the success or failure of any single production. As a community, we remain undeterred, unflinching and unstoppable. We have never been prouder to be theater makers than at this very moment."

Thoughts of a Colored Man
Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Thoughts of a Colored Man opened Oct. 13, 2021, and played 79 performances and 13 previews at the Golden Theatre. The current cast included Emmy Award winner Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da'Vinchi, Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon, Esau Pritchett, and Grammy Award nominees Tristan Mack Wilds and Luke James.

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