Ordway announces new vax policy as more venues cancel shows

As canceled or postponed arts events pile up, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts has announced stricter vaccination requirements.

Starting Feb. 1, the St. Paul venue will not only require vaccination (or a negative test result within 72 hours of the performance), but also proof of a booster. Masks remain mandatory and they cannot be fabric masks; theater now requires more omicron-resistant protection, such as N95 or KN95 masks. The policies apply to all Ordway, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and Schubert Club performances on the site.

The variant continues to disrupt performing arts schedules. The touring production of “Come From Away,” which is currently playing at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, has canceled two more performances — Friday night and Saturday afternoon — but intends to resume the 8 p.m. show on Saturday, having won some time to work new performers from Broadway, London and Toronto productions to the cast. The musical runs until January 23.

The Park Square Theater is postponing its revival of the musical drama “Mary and Rosetta,” after previously canceling some performances. Originally slated to debut on January 19, the drama about music trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe is “on hold” in hopes of premiering later.

“We have heard of anxiety from our customers, as well as challenges in the rehearsal room due to COVID-19. As we prioritize the health and safety of our performers and audience, all we said to breathe and come back when we can,” executive director Mark Ferraro-Hauck said.

The Yellow Tree Theater pushes back “In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play”. Slated to debut at the Osseo Theater on February 4, the comedy will now run from June 2-26.

Two events at the Landmark Center in St. Paul have been moved. The “Urban Expedition China” dance/culture program, originally scheduled for Sunday, will now take place on February 20. “Black Sea Odyssey,” featuring Ethnic Dance Theater and originally scheduled for February 20, will be a virtual event in March.

Among clubs in the Twin Cities, about one in five live music concerts scheduled for this weekend have been postponed or cancelled, mostly at the request of artists. Canceled shows include Samantha Fish at First Avenue on Saturday and Tina Schlieke at The Dakota on Saturday (which was replaced by Ginger Commodore’s tribute to Sidney Poitier the same night).

Other concerts canceled in the coming days include annual tributes to Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton at the Cabooze and Turf Club, respectively; rapper Sean Anonymous’ birthday party at 7th St. Entry; Best Coast’s tour date at Fine Line and Kiss the Tiger’s residency concert at Icehouse.

At the Crooners Supper Club in Fridley, three shows were canceled – Jennifer Grimm on Friday, Songs of Laurel Canyon and Lynne Rothrock on Saturday and Robert Robinson on Sunday. The site will be closed until February 3 for renovations.

Editors Chris Riemenschneider and Jon Bream contributed to this report.

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