Toronto production of ‘Come From Away’ grounded permanently

After 855 performances, it is the latest victim of the raging Omicron COVID variant.

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It has come and gone – for good.

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Come From Away, the most successful Canadian musical of all time, has permanently closed in Toronto.

After a grand reopening that lasted just seven days, the production’s final curtain at the Royal Alexandra Theatre was Dec. 22, Mirvish Productions announced Tuesday.

After 855 performances, it is the latest victim of the raging Omicron COVID variant.

“Despite our best efforts, within a week of reopening an outbreak in the backstage company forced us to cancel four performances, with the hope that we would resume on Dec. 28,” David Mirvish said in a statement.

“But during this short break, it became bluntly apparent that it would be impossible to continue when this incredibly contagious variant has sent case numbers soaring.”

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Following a 21-month pandemic hiatus, the show had just reopened to a rousing standing ovation Dec. 15.

“I know this news is shocking, and it causes me and our partners great pain to have to take this action, but we are simply out of options. The most responsible way forward is to close the production,” Mirvish said.

“This is not the way any of us wanted this to end. Come From Away deserves to have had many more years at the Royal Alex. But the risks, uncertainty and financial situation have left us without another realistic outcome.”

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Mirvish said theatre is being ignored by government.

“In other parts of the world, the government has stepped up to support the commercial theatre sector by offering a financial safety net for the sector to reopen and play during the pandemic, thus protecting the tens of thousands of good jobs the sector creates,” Mirvish said.

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“But in Canada there is no such government support. And without such a safety net it is impossible for the production to take yet another extended hiatus.”

Mirvish described the longtime production as “a show for the history books.”

More than one million people saw the show during its run, Feb. 13, 2018 to March 13, 2020 and then the short return from Dec. 15 to 22, 2021.

Box office sales surpassed $115,000,000.

The estimated economic impact to the Toronto economy was $920,000,000.

Mirvish noted the show also created 9,000 employment weeks for cast, stage managers, musicians, crew members and front of house team members.

Ticket-holders will be contacted and offered a transfer of the value of their tickets to account credits, gift cards, or a refund.

slaurie@postmedia.com

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