Posted on: October 8, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Ben Vereen, Tony Award-winning Broadway actor, was scheduled to perform his show “‘Steppin’ Out’ with Ben Vereen” at Moraine Valley on Oct. 16. The evening would have been a night of music, dance, and laughter—but unfortunately it has been cancelled.

“Right now, just because of the situation with COVID, particularly because he’s flying from Los Angeles, he just doesn’t feel comfortable with getting on a plane right now,” said Tommy Hensel, managing director of Moraine’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Vereen is 74, is in a high-risk group for COVID, and is currently a recurring guest star on the TV show B Positive, which Hensel thinks was another factor in Vereen’s cancellation.

“They tape that [show] Monday through Thursday, every week, and he’s on the set every Monday through Thursday through December. He was concerned that if he flew to Chicago and the worst case happened and he got exposed to COVID, that could potentially shut down that entire TV show.”

Vereen’s live show is not the only production to be delayed over COVID fears. The Broadway production of Aladdin recently had to cancel some performances due to an outbreak in the company, and other Broadway shows could follow suit if the same happens to them. It may be disappointing to both the performers and an audience when shows get cancelled, but if theater is to continue in this new world, safety precautions come first.

Vereen’s Moraine show has been delayed for now, but Hensel says he is looking to reschedule it for the spring, probably sometime in May.

In the meantime, the FPAC lineup includes many other events, which can be found on its schedule for the 2021-2022 season. Other events in October include “Fire and Rain” featuring Jim Witter with Giselle Sanderson, a faculty jazz recital, and the Moraine Valley flute choir performing a concert called “Haunted Flutes.”