‘Jagged Little Pill’ to Close on Broadway, Citing Omicron
“The drastic turn of events this week with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has, once again, changed everything,” the producers said in a statement. “We are dismayed by what appears to be another substantial public health crisis, and, due to the detection of multiple positive Covid-19 cases within the company, need to prioritize the health and safety of the cast, crew and entire team working on ‘Jagged Little Pill.’”
They added, “In light of the extreme uncertainty ahead of us this winter, and forced to choose between continuing performances and protecting our company, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our doors.”
“Jagged Little Pill” arrived on Broadway with a strong tailwind, given the enormous popularity of the album from which the musical takes its name, and the success of a pre-Broadway production at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. On Broadway, it received some strong reviews, including from The New York Times, in which the critic Jesse Green called it “clear in its priorities, rich in character, sincere without syrup, rousing and real.”
The show, with a progressive worldview, shed light on issues including sexual assault, transracial adoption and opioid addiction, and came in for some criticism along the way for what some saw as a shifting depiction of the gender identity of Patten’s character. And then a former cast member accused the show of mishandling medical concerns.
The production also modeled a form of parent-friendly casting that is rare on Broadway: Upon returning from the pandemic, the show agreed to allow its lead actress, Elizabeth Stanley, to share her role with another actress, Heidi Blickenstaff, so that Stanley, who had just given birth to her first child, could work part-time.