Irene Sankoff, left, and her husband David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics of Mirvish’s “Come From Away” hold a meet-and-greet as they prepare to open the musical in early 2018, in Toronto on November 30, 2017. The musical “Come From Away” has permanently closed in Toronto due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Irene Sankoff, left, and her husband David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics of Mirvish’s “Come From Away” hold a meet-and-greet as they prepare to open the musical in early 2018, in Toronto on November 30, 2017. The musical “Come From Away” has permanently closed in Toronto due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

‘Come From Away’ musical permanently closes in Toronto amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Latest cancellation in wave of closures in Toronto’s theatre district

TORONTO — Mirvish Productions is permanently closing its musical “Come From Away” in Toronto, describing the costs of reopening amid tightened pandemic restrictions “prohibitively high and risky.”

The Gander, N.L.-set show had reopened after a 21-month pandemic hiatus on Dec. 15, but ended its run Dec. 22 amid a COVID-19 outbreak among crew.

The cases cancelled four December shows but the Tony Award-winning musical had planned to return Tuesday to the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

However, David Mirvish said Monday it’s become “bluntly apparent that it would be impossible to continue when this incredibly contagious variant has sent case numbers soaring.”

He bemoaned the lack of a government “safety net” for the commercial theatre sector, where revenue is strained by tightened pandemic restrictions that have imposed a 50 per cent capacity limit on Ontario’s large venues.

Without such support, he said “the risks, uncertainty and financial situation have left us without another realistic outcome.”

“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 Monday in a release.

“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.”

Mirvish Productions said ticket-holders can request a refund.

The cancellation is just the latest in a wave of closures in Toronto’s theatre district. Last week, Mirvish Productions announced it was pulling from its schedule the North American premiere of the Tom Stoppard play “Leopoldstadt,” which had been set for early 2022 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

It followed Ontario’s move to limit audience capacity at large indoor venues — including live theatres and concert halls — to help slow the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

In announcing the scrapped plans for “Leopoldstadt,” Mirvish had said the capacity restrictions and a non-essential travel advisory from the federal government had complicated logistics.

Before its short run this month, Come From Away” ran in Toronto from February 2018 to March 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2021.

Live theatre