More ‘Nutcracker’ Performances Canceled as Virus Halts Holiday Shows


New York City Ballet canceled its performances of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” through Dec. 27 after several people involved in the production tested positive for the coronavirus, in the latest sign of how the surge in cases is disrupting attempts to bring back some of the city’s most beloved holiday performances.

The company hopes to resume performances Dec. 28, and to continue the run through Jan. 2.

As the production, one of City Ballet’s most popular, was called off at Lincoln Center, plans to fill Carnegie Hall on Tuesday evening with the “Hallelujah” chorus were canceled when Musica Sacra postponed a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” citing the virus. Carnegie Hall announced Wednesday that a Christmas Eve concert featuring the New York String Orchestra had been canceled after a small number of the orchestra’s musicians tested positive. And there are no more holiday kicklines at Radio City Music Hall: The remaining performances of the “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” were canceled Friday.

The cancellations came shortly after it was announced that some of Broadway’s biggest hits would not resume until after Christmas, forgoing one of the most lucrative periods of the year amid concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant.

“This was a difficult decision to make as bringing this beloved holiday production back to the stage this year for audiences in the city and beyond has been a high priority for New York City Ballet and we look forward to resuming performances next week,” the company’s executive director, Kathy Brown, and its artistic director, Jonathan Stafford, said in a statement.

The company has worked hard to bring back the holiday favorite under difficult circumstances. It turned to a cast of dancers 12 and older — it typically casts younger, smaller children as its angels, soldiers and mice, and for its party scene — since only children of those ages were eligible for vaccinations when rehearsals began in the fall.

The company said that tickets could be refunded, exchanged for a future performance, or donated to the company. Musica Sacra said that it would perform later this season at Carnegie Hall.

It is not only New York that is seeing holiday cancellations. All remaining performances of “A Christmas Carol” at the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles were canceled Tuesday, while in Chicago, the Goodman Theater suspended in-person performances of “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 24.



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