In New York, Actress Stops Play, Saying She Can't Breathe

City is dealing with dangerously poor air quality because of Canadian wildfires
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2023 6:10 PM CDT
In New York, Jodie Comer Stops Play, Saying She Can't Breathe
This image released by The Press Room shows Jodie Comer in character in "Prima Facie."   (Helen Murray/The Press Room via AP)

Ten minutes into a matinee performance of Prima Facie on Wednesday in New York City, Jodie Comer stopped the play. With Canadian wildfires causing the region's air to rank, at least briefly, among the world's worst, the star told the audience she couldn't breathe. A stage manager helped her offstage, Variety reports. The one-woman Broadway show later started over with Dani Arlington, Comer's understudy. The Tony Awards are scheduled to be held Sunday in New York and broadcast live. There's been no word about whether the awards show will be postponed because of the air quality, per Us Weekly.

Later in the day, evening performances of Hamilton and Camelot were canceled, as was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet. Hamilton was called off less than two hours before showtime because cast members had called in sick, per Variety, and producers said performances would resume Thursday. The two theaters said in statements that patrons could receive refunds or exchange their tickets. "Broadway remains open this evening and most shows are set to perform," the Broadway League's president said in a statement. (More New York City stories.)

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