Preview performances of the new Broadway musical Shuffle Along have been canceled this week (Monday, March 21-Thursday, March 24) due to the illness of its six-time, Tony-winning star Audra McDonald. Performances are set to resume tomorrow evening, Friday, March 25.
"I’d much rather be on stage at the Music Box than at home with my Dr. Nelson’s Inhaler and Mucinex, but unfortunately with this nasty cold, I’m sounding less like my character Lottie Gee and more like Animal from The Muppets," said McDonald in a statement. "I miss my Shuffle Along colleagues and am looking forward to returning to the show as soon as I can."
The production, which had previously scheduled a hiatus beginning Monday, March 28, and resuming Saturday, April 2, will now end one day earlier, with an added 8pm performance on Friday, April 1. The added performance will provide ticketholders for this week’s canceled shows the option to reschedule as soon as possible.
The new musical, set to open April 28, presents the landmark 1921 African-American musical Shuffle Along alongside the story of the behind-the-scenes saga that led the songwriting team of Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and librettists F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles to create this groundbreaking work. George C. Wolfe directs and writes a new book for the production, which features choreography by Savion Glover.
In addition to McDonald, the cast is led by Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime) and Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), as well as Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown the Musical) and Joshua Henry (Violet).