AceShowbiz - Jodie Comer stopped short her performance on a Broadway show after experiencing breathing difficulty due to poor air quality in New York City. The actress was forced to halt Wednesday's (June 7) matinee of "Prima Facie", telling the crowd that she "can't breathe."
The Emmy-winning actress attempted to begin the show, only to stop it after only ten minutes into it. "I can't breathe in this air," she said, before a stage manager helped her off stage. When the curtain lowered, an announcement asked the audience members to remain seated until a final decision was made as to whether to cancel the matinee or proceed with an understudy.
Eventually, the show resumed from the stop with the understudy, Dani Arlington, taking over the role of Tessa. She completed the performance to enthusiastic applause, a source tells Deadline. Those who had left before the show resumed would get new tickets for a future performance or for refunds.
"Today's matinee of 'Prima Facie' was halted approximately 10 minutes into the performance after Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing due to the poor air quality in New York City because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires," said a spokesperson for the production. "The performance was set to start again from the top with understudy Dani Arlington going on for Ms. Comer in the role of Tessa."
NYC is in its second day of terrible air quality as a result of Canadian wildfire smoke blowing in its direction. The city is bathed in a yellow hue, the air is difficult to breathe and smells like a burning campfire. CNN reported on Wednesday that a total of 414 fires are still active in Canada, 239 of which are deemed out of control, according to Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.
The poor air quality in NYC has also forced performances of "Hamilton" and "Camelot" to be canceled on Wednesday night. Just hours before the curtain call, a spokesperson for "Hamilton", Shane Marshall Brown, announced, "Tonight's performance of 'Hamilton' will not go on as scheduled. The hazardous air quality in New York City has made it impossible for a number of our artists to perform this evening."