In wake of Hugh Jackman testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time, standby actor Max Clayton will perform in The Music Man on Broadway.
Clayton will perform the role of Professor Harold Hill alongside Sutton Foster, in all performances of Meredith Willson’s musical comedy from June 14-21.
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“Once again, standbys and understudies save the day and, in this case, it’s Max Clayton to the rescue,” said producer Kate Horton in a statement. “We’re excited to see him perform alongside the wonderful Sutton Foster and we wish Hugh a speedy recovery.”
In his own statement on Instagram, Jackman said: “I’ve frustratingly tested positive for Covid. Again. My standby, the amazingly talented @maxmclayton will step in for me. What’s most annoying is I don’t get to see him perform! I’ve said it before, and will say it a million times more … Maxi and all the standbys, swings and understudies around the world, you are the true heroes of theater. You give life to the saying “the show must go on.”
His diagnosis comes a day after attending The Tony Awards, in which he was nominated for his role in The Music Man.
Jackman first tested positive in December of 2021 just days after Foster also missed performances of The Music Man due a breakthrough case. At the time, Jackman described his symptoms as “like a cold,” with “a scratchy throat and a bit of a runny nose.” A number of performances were canceled before the actor returned to the stage.
The Music Man is directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography from Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle.