COVID pushes ‘Damn Yankees’ at Wick to 2023; ‘Sh-Boom’ brought in as replacement

Barely two months into 2022, the omicron version of the coronavirus has, for a second time, messed with the schedule of a stage production at the Wick Theater in Boca Raton, said Marilynn Wick, the managing executive producer.

In an email, the Wick chief said she has made “a tough decision” to delay next month’s performance of Damn Yankees to next season. The choice, she said, reflects the impact COVID had on the current production of Gypsy which concludes this weekend.

Poster for Damn Yankees

Not only did omicron force a one-week delay in the opening of Gypsy, but Wick said that “in order to keep our doors open, we have had to make extreme shifts in scheduling and adhere to the strict and costly protocols that Equity, the Actors Union, put in place in order to operate.”

The organization’s rules require COVID tests for actors at least three times a week – paid for by the theater.

Wick said a musical show called Sh-Boom, Life Could Be a Dream, will be presented during the period which Damn Yankees would have run, March 3 to April 3.

“It breaks my heart to postpone Damn Yankees, but I feel it was for the good of the theater, the actors’ safety and, most importantly, the safety of our audience members.”

Gypsy, she said, has a cast of 27 “and each week during rehearsals, several cast members, tech crew and support staff were testing positive for COVID, which caused the delay in the opening.”  Damn Yankees was scheduled to have an even larger cast of 32.

Poster for Sh-Boom, Life Could Be a Dream

Wick described Sh-Boom as “a wonderful musical set in the 1950s with lots of great songs that you love and remember.” Promotional material for the show says the musical features more than 25 songs, including “Unchained Melody,” “Runaround Sue” and “Duke of Earl,” among others.

In her email, Wick said the COVID pandemic has caused major problems with the theater’s schedule for the past two years. “It wasn’t easy, but we did it.”

“In December, we thought we were out of the woods, but then omicron came along, and it seemed we were starting all over again.”

Wick said she still plans to conclude the 2021-22 season with a musical presentation called Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, a play that features hit songs written and/or performed by singer Neil Sedaka. It runs from April 21 to May 15.

The North Federal Highway theater, dining spot and costume museum is also sticking to its plan to present singer Christine Pedi for two nights, March 21 and 22, “in her one-woman show with music, ‘Great Dames.’” Wick said Christine “is one of the funniest and most talented people I’ve seen.”

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