If you think only Honolulu theater groups have it bad, what with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and Omicron variant, consider the devastating Broadway situation.

At least seven of nearly 30 shows have had to shut down because of the virus; that includes “Music Man,” whose leading man Hugh Jackman, is recovering from COVID. He’s set to return to the limelight Jan. 6.

But former Honolulan Kevin McCollum, who has been a successful and prolific Tony Award-winning producer (“Rent,” “Avenue Q,” “In the Heights,” “Something Rotten”), has been experiencing a rough season this year because of the surge in pandemic cases.

He is the lead producer of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a new title based on the Robin Williams comedy film which went dark because of the virus, and the tepid reviews haven’t helped. The show lost an estimated $1.5 million during its closure, according to McCollum, and no one knows how long it can remain in business.

Kevin McCollum

McCollum also is a producer of the acclaimed London import,“Six” which is trying to stay alive, too.  “We are resilient,” McCollum told ABC. “We are New York and we have our stories to tell as long as everyone is healthy to tell them.”

We earlier  mentioned that McCollum also is a producer of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” film musical, which has opened to mixed reviews and unexpectedly sparse audiences considering its $100 million budget, so yes, it’s not been a merry season at all. If you stay long enough for the end credits of the film, you’ll see McCollum’s name.

Meanwhile, “Ain’t Too Proud,” the revival of the hit musical on the life and times of The Temptations, has just returned to the active list, after an earlier shutdown. It’s been a popular vehicle with oodles of hit songs and great choreography, but the odds of drawing audiences in challenging times has forced this show to shut down for good in January, following similar closures of the revived “Waitress” and “Jagged Little Pill” recently.

And yes, the season’s traditional Rockettes show at Radio City Music Hall, is history amid the  COVID crisis, normally a highly popular attraction on the Great White Way.

Broadway may be back, but clearly, it’s a problematic time to visit. The weather outside might be frightening, but the climate inside some theaters might be fearsome, too, since the virus still is a relevant issue not under control …

A song for New Year

Kathleen Stuart, a former Kaneohe resident and a proud Ron Bright student, has recorded a video performance of “Next Year’s New Year’s Eve,” a suitable tune for this time of the year.

Kathleen Stuart

Now a New York resident and performer, she enlisted local artists to do a video of the tune, composed by Patrick Dwyer in 2013 and featured in a 2017 musical revue, “ThirtyWhatever,” in which Stuart performed.

You’ve seen the actress over the decades, in Castle High School performances directed by Bright, and more recently in I’m a Bright Kid Foundation’s production of “The King and I,” and in Manoa Valley Theatre’s Hawaii premiere of “Allegiance.”

You can view the video at

And that’s Show Biz. …

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