Those who hoped to see the Tony-nominated Broadway show Shuffle Along in the coming months may be disappointed to learn that, after a three-month run, the show will be closing. If that's not disappointing enough, it's the so-called reason why that has fans outraged and venting on Twitter.
According to Broadway Black, the show's producer, Scott Rudin, said ticket sales plummeted after star Audra McDonald took her maternity leave. As a result, they've decided to scrap the show altogether.
"We are thrilled that she and her husband, Will Swenson, are experiencing the opportunity to expand their family — and we wish them all good things as they approach the birth of their child this fall," Rudin said. "It has, however, become clear that the need for Audra to take a prolonged and unexpected hiatus from the show has determined the unfortunate inevitability of our running at a loss for significantly longer than the show can responsibly absorb."
Following the announcement, fans of the show took to Twitter to express their outrage, especially about the producer blaming the cancellation on Audra's pregnancy. One person called the producer's comment sexist. See below.
Audra herself broke her silence on the sudden shuttering of her show, but avoided weighing in on the criticism against the producers:
I'm devastated that my brilliant & extraordinary Shuffle family won't be able 2 continue sharing this important & vital show.I love them so.— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) June 24, 2016
This is unfortunate on so many levels, particularly since Shuffle Along is one of the few Black Broadway shows out there. But no doubt the talented cast will continue on to do great things.
Watch Audra McDonald speak on her passion for Broadway in the video above.
(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)