Covers come from afar to save Broadway!

This week has seen some remarkable things happen on Broadway. With constant cases of COVID detected in performing arts companies, swings and liners have stepped into metal and proven how valuable they are to a show.

L: Marika Aubrey / R: The list of covers on Come from afar, posted by series writer David Hein

Just a few days ago, the Broadway production of Come from afar had 8 of his 12 lead roles filled by covers – 5 standbys, 2 former returning cast members and one touring cast member making their Broadway debut.

The latter is Australian Marika Aubrey, known by her original name as Mrs. Wormwood on the nationwide tour of Mathilde. Since 2018, she has been piloting Beverley Bass in the first U.S. National Tour of Come from afar. Marika was spending time in New York City taking a break from touring production and was called in not only to replace Bev, but to make her Broadway debut as well.

Marika told AussieTheater:

I’m honored to be doing this show, this story, this great Broadway crew a favor. Hope the regular cast improves soon!

Other major Broadway productions have also filled roles with covers, including lead roles in both Bad and the renewal of The man of music.

The astonishing achievements come after Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin apologized for her comments suggesting that the shows were canceled and closed due to Broadway swings and the liners’ inexperience.

This week and these events further highlight the central role swings, watches and liners play in the world of theater, and how crucial it is that they are protected and trained at their own pace. These artists are incredibly versatile and flexible, often jumping onto a track with a few hours’ notice, sometimes never having played it before.


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Kenneth T. Shippee