The hit Broadway musical “Company” called curtains before the first song of Friday night’s performance — over an apparent case of food poisoning.
The sudden announcement sparked a small panic among the audience at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre after several productions were forced to close this week due to coronavirus outbreaks.
“Immediately everyone thought they got a [positive] PCR test back… but they made it immediately clear it was not COVID,” said theatergoer Maddie Kevelson, an Upper West Side resident who works as a costume assistant.
“I’m like, food poisoning? But it is what it is,” she told The Post. “There are no understudies in the city right now.”
According to witnesses, a voice came on over the mic before the show’s opening song and said that there was a problem backstage and the crew was needed.
After about 10 minutes of confusion, legendary actress and singer Patti Lupone got on stage, and urged everyone to remain calm.
“We have a little issue that we have to deal with backstage and we wanted you to be calm about it and we wanted you to know that everything is OK,” the Tony-award winner told the crowd, according to a video obtained by The Post.
Kevelson, 23, said the stage manager came on the mic about 15 minutes later and told everyone the show wouldn’t go on, “due to a non-COVID-related illness” — before saying something like, “food poisoning is still a thing.”
A worker at the theater confirmed to The Post: “Someone had food poisoning and that’s it.”
A statement posted to the musical’s social media accounts after the show said that: “Due to non-Covid related illness in our company, we were unable to continue with this evening’s performance.”
Saturday’s performances were set to continue as planned. The post instructed ticket-holders to “visit your point of purchase for refunds or exchanges.”
Kevelson, a regular theatergoer, said that after the initial announcement, people in the audience instantly feared a possible COVID-19 outbreak.
“The girl next to me was crying. She came alone and she was crying,” Kevelson said. “Everyone around me was from out of state so they were like freaking out.”
On Thursday night, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” was abruptly canceled after the audience was already seated because a company staffer tested positive for the virus.
Composed by the late Stephen Sondheim, the Broadway luminary who died late last month, “Company,” was first performed in 1970, when it was nominated for a record 14 Tony Awards.