Friday, April 12, 2024

Broadway: “Company” Musical Stopped 10 Minutes in, Canceled for “Food Poisoning” But COVID Rumors Persist


With many Broadway shows canceled tonight because of COVID, the ones that soldiered on did so bravely.

But 10 minutes into the start of “Company” at the Bernard Jacobs Theater, the show stopped tonight. Star Patti Lupone came out and it was explained that someone in the cast had food poisoning. Lupone sang to the audience from the foot of the stage, told some jokes and took a few questions.

That was not enough to save the night. The audience was sent home because, they were told, someone in the cast had food poisoning.

You might ask, Are there no understudies? And the answer might be No. That’s because two days ago, an anonymous Twitter account stated:

“Covid cases have apparently been detected under the cast of


!!! KEEP PATTI LUPONE SAFE!!! Don’t let her get it!!!”

More, from another source: “They detected one covid case in the cast last Friday. On Monday 4 more cases were discovered of which 2 were false positives leaving them with at least 3 covid cases as of Monday. I honestly don’t know who has/had it, a friend of mine who’s working on Company told me about the covid cases in the cast. People commented about it on an Instagram post of Company, sending well wishes, Company immediately deleted those comments and messaged those people telling them to not speak about the matter in public. Which, in my opinion, actually confirms that they have cases in their cast. Broadway shows normally cancel their shows when they detect covid outbreaks in their company and they inform the public…You could say the opening night after party resulted in covid outbreaks in the cast. Someone also posted that he was glad he didn’t go to the Opening Night party since it resulted in 4 covid cases. My friend only knew of 3 but it might be more!”

So it would seem someone got something because food poisoning isn’t enough to stop a Broadway show.

“Company” is a Stephen Sondheim show, and though this song isn’t part of it, I’d say at this point, Send in the clowns.

Presumably the show will go on tomorrow. “Company,” by the way, is sold out and spectacular.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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