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Wildfires' smoke closes Broadway shows

By MINLU ZHANG in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-06-09 10:40
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Traffic crosses the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hang over the Philadelphia skyline in Pennsylvania, US, June 8, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The wildfire smoke from Canada that has settled over the streets of New York City also slipped through the doors of some Broadway theaters, forcing several high-profile performances to cancel.

Emmy-winning British actress Jodie Comer stopped performing in the Wednesday matinee of her one-woman show Prima Facie because she said her breathing was compromised by the air quality. The play was halted for nearly 45 minutes and restarted with her understudy. Comer returned for the evening performance.

A Wednesday night performance of the Broadway musical Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre was canceled because of the poor air quality conditions in the city. Many cast members had called in sick.

"The hazardous air quality in New York City has made it impossible for a number of our artists to perform this evening," said Shane Marshall Brown, a representative for the show, said in a statement. "Shows will resume as scheduled tomorrow."

Wednesday's dress rehearsal and the Thursday and Friday performances of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet were also canceled because of the "ongoing issues of air quality in Central Park,'' the theater said on Twitter.

Lincoln Center Theater canceled Wednesday night's performance for its Broadway revival of Camelot. The off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre canceled its performance of This Land Was Made.

The theatre said the cancellation was made to prioritize the health and safety of audience members, performers and staff.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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