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Playhouse Square theatergoers upset, frustrated after Sunday's 'Wicked' matinee canceled 15 minutes prior to showtime

Playhouse Square says that the evening is performance is still scheduled to go on as planned.

CLEVELAND — Sunday's matinee performance of "Wicked" at Cleveland's Playhouse Square has been canceled due to "last minute positive" COVID-19 cases, according to officials. 

The famous Northeast Ohio arts center announced the cancelation on social media Sunday afternoon, 15 minutes after the show was intended to start. Playhouse officials say that the show was lacking enough performers to put the classic musical on.

"Due to last minute positive cases within the cast, there are not enough performers for today's matinee performance of WICKED, December 26 to go on. Additional performers are on their way and at this time, we expect the evening show to go on as scheduled," Playhouse Square said in a statement on social media. 

Audience members present for the afternoon performance expressed anger and frustration over the cancelation. 

"Too bad we were told fifteen minutes before curtain," said one person on Twitter.

"An eagerly awaited gift for a 7 year old who was fully expecting to see Wicked because there was no cancellation posted when she left for the show an hour before curtain time is unprofessional and unacceptable," another Twitter user responded to Playhouse Square. "We understand how virulent Omicron is, but then cancel with notice." 

"I understand that there were positive cases however this could have been handled better. I watched as people with food and programs walked out of the theater. I had not walked in yet but I was still extremely sad. I was hesitant to get too excited about today because I knew there was a chance it could be cancelled but I thought walking in I’d be able to see the show. Maybe in the future you can give guests at least an hour of a heads up," said ticketholder Kimberly Blackburn on Facbook. 

"I literally refreshed your website all morning.  I had to find someone to attend with me and when I finally found someone, headed down to the parking lot to find out it was canceled as I pulled up. The poor management of the cancelation is beyond disappointing," said another on social media. 

Despite many being upset, others thanked Playhouse Square for attempting to keep patrons and those who put on the show safe, even with short notice.

"Thank you Playhouse Square for continuing to try and keep the cast and crew safe. As frustrating as it is for the patrons, I know it is just as devastating to all of you to have to cancel doing what you love," said Leann Deibel in a comment on Facebook

Playhouse Square says that all ticketholders who purchased tickets through Playhouse will be refunded within seven to 10 business days, while those who purchased through a third party should contact that organization. In a response to one theatergoer on Facebook, the theater district also said that they will refund people for parking, as well

Sunday night's performance is scheduled to go on as originally planned. 

3News reached out to Playhouse Square officials but has not received a response at this time.

This is a developing story. Check back with 3News for updates. 


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