How Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster and 'The Music Man' withstood Covid

HUGH JACKMANProfessor Harold Hill It was so great to be back in the room. KATHY VOYTKO (swing/Marian understudy) It was a pleasure to t...


HUGH JACKMANProfessor Harold Hill It was so great to be back in the room.

KATHY VOYTKO (swing/Marian understudy) It was a pleasure to test negative every day.

On December 20, amid Omicron’s rise to prominence, “The Music Man” got his first preview. Four covers – an actor going on for another actor calling off a show – were on stage.

KATE HORTON (producer) I would look at the situation that we were dealing with every day, and I would have conversations with the management and the creative team and we would decide what to do.

SUTTON FOSTER (Marian Paroo) At one point, there were 14 people off the show. We had swings spanning seven roles and trying to hold up this show. And they did. It was remarkable. One of our swings, Emily Hoder, is 10 years old and she was covering three tracks.

ZAKS I couldn’t do the critical work of tackling the material, making changes in the lighting, fixing the sound, because we had so many people. There was a moment where we wondered if we should push the opening night.

Then it happened: On Thursday, December 23, the morning of the fourth preview, Foster tested positive.

TO FAVOR We have been vigilant, but I have a 4.5 year old daughter who goes to kindergarten. On December 20, the night of our first sighting, she wasn’t feeling well, and my husband took her to the doctor and she tested positive. But every day I was testing negative, negative, negative. Then Thursday morning I did a quick test at home, and it was immediately just a rough red line. And I was like, “OK, here we go.”

But the show went on that night, thanks to Voytko, a swing and understudy for Marian, who played the lead role in eight hours.

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Newsrust - US Top News: How Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster and 'The Music Man' withstood Covid
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