Omicron causes new round of postponements and cancellations in Twin Cities


As the new year begins, arts organizations in Twin Cities must change their plans, for the same reason their schedules changed at the end of 2021: the COVID-19 pandemic and, more specifically, the omicron variant.

If you have tickets for just about anything this weekend, it’s a good idea to check to make sure the event is taking place and to inquire about refunds and exchanges. Here are some schedule changes:

The Guthrie Theater has canceled the first three premieres of “A Raisin in the Sun” and plans to begin premieres on January 12 instead. The opening night is scheduled for January 14.

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has canceled rehearsals and performances until Sunday. SPCO is “exploring the possibility” of rescheduling flautist Alicia McQuerrey’s four concerts while implementing a new testing protocol for its musicians and staff.

Bloomington’s Artistry has canceled its production of “Into the Woods”, which was scheduled to open on January 22. Taking what the theater describes as a “brief intermission,” performances will resume with “Memphis,” which opens in April.

The Walker Art Center has rescheduled “KLII,” Kaneza Schaal’s show that was scheduled to launch its annual Out There series on January 12.

“We called Kaneza just when people were supposed to board a plane,” said Philip Bither, senior curator of performing arts at Walker. “We have ordered this piece and we are committed to having it when it is safer for our artists and our audience.”

Wordplay, the writers’ festival started by the Loft Literary Center in 2019 and then forced online over the past two years by the pandemic, announced on Wednesday that it would be suspended for 2022.

The Loft is in full transition, with the arrival of a new Executive Director in March. Citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Acting Director Beth Schoeppler said that instead of compromising and asking “already exhausted staff to disperse, we decided to take a break and then focus with a renewed energy “on a festival in person then year.

The Red Eye Theater rescheduled this weekend’s dance piece “Honey” from July 15-17. For those who want a taste now, a dance-on-film version of “Honey” is streaming on Vimeo.

“Stone Baby,” a concert / play collaboration between rock band Kiss the Tiger and Trademark Theater that was slated to perform on Wednesdays in January at Icehouse, will debut on March 9 instead.

While live music in clubs and bars is reduced at this time of year anyway, First Avenue has postponed its annual showcase of the best new bands – with seven acts requiring backstage accommodation – from Friday to 4. March for safety.

At sister venues on First Ave, Friday’s Folios concert and Sunday’s Admiral Fox show at 7th St. Entry are both canceled. The same goes for the first two episodes of Andrew Broder’s residency concerts in January (Wednesday and January 12) at the Turf Club, where the Turn Turn Turn Friday appearance is also canceled. The residency concerts at Charlie Parr’s Turf on Sunday and Cactus Blossoms on Monday are still underway for the time being.

Other musical cancellations this week included Thursday’s Bruce Springsteen Tribute with Mick Sterling at Crooners, Saturday’s David Bowie Acoustic Tribute Show at Hook & Ladder, and Saturday’s Johnny Cash Tribute at Eagles Club Minneapolis. The Dakota are postponing Mayyadda’s Sunday concert and Tina Schlieske’s concert on January 15 to later dates.

Local derailments weren’t the only ones to be announced on Wednesday. The Grammy Awards have been postponed for the second year in a row, with no new date announced. Variety.com reported that the Los Angeles event venue, Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center), is pretty much booked with concerts, basketball and hockey games through to mid- April ; Grammys typically require a 10 day window for production.

Last year, the Grammys were postponed from January 26 to March 14 and presented without an audience at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Editors Chris Riemenschneider, Rohan Preston, Laurie Hertzel and Jon Bream contributed to this report.


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