Live performances in Calgary canceled due to increase in Omicron cases


Due to the increase in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, a handful of live shows in Calgary have temporarily closed the curtain on the shows.

Many theaters have gone to great lengths to provide a safe space for audiences and performers, but given the spread of the virus, tough decisions have had to be made.

A yellow rabbit High Performance Rodeo (HPR) is canceled this year. Producer Oliver Armstrong said the festival is scheduled to start on January 18 and take place in several different venues involving nearly 80 artists.

“We’ve been working really hard for 12 months, it’s tough,” Armstrong said.

“We expected the unexpected, but even it seems shocking and strange to make the announcement that we cannot hold public events this month,” Armstrong said.

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“This is very bad timing and we are looking for options to show postponed versions of some of our work.”

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Without being able to provide the full experience and audience engagement of HPR, they made the difficult decision. Ticket holders can wait to know when performances are postponed, but refunds are also available.

“Inherently we rabbits are enthusiastic, optimistic and that hasn’t changed,” Armstrong said. “If we can’t present the fun, engaging, in-person experience of the festival, we might not be able to present High Performance Rodeo in 2022.”

The One Yellow Rabbit theater space in Calgary, Alta.

Jill Croteau / Global News

Artists like Peter Moller agree, saying it’s safe to take a break and look forward to getting back on stage in the spotlight.

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“Maybe we’ve forgotten what it feels like in public and just a general lift, so we’re happy to wait and find the right time,” Moller said.

“Because what we want to do is add lightness to people’s lives – we’re going to need it. “

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The Calgary Philharmonic has also canceled both of its January performances.

Chinese classical pianist Yuja Wang was scheduled to perform on January 15 and 16, and solo violin Diana Cohen was to perform Mozart on January 21 and 22.

The orchestra is working on rescheduling these concerts and plans to resume their winter series with I’m getting up February 5. President and CEO Marc Stevens said it was not an easy decision.

The lobby of the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Alberta.

Jill Croteau / Global News

Despite the distance and a number of other safety measures, Stevens said they had to cancel due to the increased number of COVID cases and travel complications for the featured artists.

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“Our players live to perform and to be side by side, to perform in front of the audience – and our audience really wants to be here,” said Stevens.

“Certainly people missed being side by side, as safe as possible, because it’s not just about listening to a performance, it’s about feeling the people around you. “

Other places such as Vertige Theater continue their shows. Evelyn Goj, director of marketing and communications, said her team is closely monitoring the city’s COVID situation and so far plans to open the next production of Encrypt the Saturday.

“The enhanced safety measures implemented by Vertigo in November are still in place, such as mandatory masks and customers eligible to receive the vaccine are fully immunized. On top of that, we will be reducing capacity by 25% at the moment, ”Goj said.

the Pumphouse Theater has upcoming performances scheduled to begin in late January and early February. Sabrina Mueller, production and operations manager for Pumphouse, said security measures were in place.

“We’re fortunate that we can have more flexibility to accommodate small audiences and social distancing than most other Calgary venues, if our clients choose to perform at this time,” said Mueller.

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Anastasia Broadway production postponed for a year

Other larger productions were also affected. The Broadway Across Canada touring production of Anastasia has been postponed until next year.

The musical was originally scheduled to take place at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary from January 4-9 and at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton from January 11-16.

“While we are of course disappointed that Anastasia was not able to open in Calgary and Edmonton this month as planned, the well-being of our patrons, artists, staff and global community remains our top priority. We look forward to seeing each other in the theater very soon, ”said Shana Levin, Vice President of Broadway Across Canada.

The new dates of Anastasia are now in Edmonton from February 21 to 26, 2023 and in Calgary from February 28 to March 5, 2023.

Broadway Across Canada said current ticket holders who cannot accept the new dates should contact their original point of purchase.

The theater organization said its long-awaited return to Alberta will now take place this summer, when Hamilton begins performances in Edmonton from June 21 to July 10 and in Calgary from July 12 to 31.

The theater marquee for “Anastasia” at the Broadhurst Theater on November 29, 2018 in New York City.

Walter McBride / Getty Images

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