The anticipated new Broadway musical Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed has canceled the March 23 evening performance. A production spokesperson told Playbill.com "There is no performance tonight, due to Audra McDonald’s illness.”
The show, which is currently in previews, also canceled its March 21 and 22 performances. This is third preview the production has been forced to cancel this week.
The show is also preparing to take a previously scheduled hiatus March 27 to April 1 as it continues in rewrites and restaging in preparation for its April 28 opening.
Shuffle Along, which began previews March 15 at the Music Box Theatre, stars record-breaking six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, along with fellow Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, plus Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry. Scott Rudin is producing the show. George C. Wolfe is writing the book as well as directing, and Savion Glover is creating the choreography
Production spokespersons did not immediately return emails from Playbill.com seeking a reason for the cancellation, and asking whether the March 23 shows will go on as scheduled. Ticket holders were contacted by email hours before the canceled performances.
The new show is opening "cold" on Broadway, meaning without an out of town tryout or previous regional production. Developmental workshops were held in Manhattan in fall 2015.
The show reportedly has been running over three hours in early previews.
The backstage story recounts the making of one of the first successful all-black Broadway musical hits that was also written by African-Americans. It opened the door for black performers and writers on the stage during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance.
The new musical uses the Blake & Sissle music with an original libretto and some new lyrics by Wolfe. The show will represent the first collaboration between Wolfe and tap master Glover since their Tony-winning Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk in 1996.
Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or visiting Telecharge.com. A number of $40 preview rush tickets, limited to two tickets per person, are available on the day of performance beginning at 10 AM Monday through Saturday, at the box office of the Music Box Theatre, 239 West 45th Street. This offer will be available through Wednesday, April 27 only.