For the first time in its nearly 27-year history on the Strip, Cirque du Soleil has sidelined artists because of a potential health risk.
A troupe of performers who had just returned from a trip to China were held out of the “Michael Jackson One” show for three performances.
“In the interest of safety, Cirque du Soleil executives made a decision to have seven Chinese artists from the Michael Jackson ONE show sit out of the show for three days (Thursday through Saturday) to ensure they were not showing symptoms of the coronavirus,” the company said in a statement.
The coronavirus is a new respiratory virus that has killed dozens and sickened at least 1,000 in China.
The Chinese artists had just returned to Las Vegas after traveling to China, the statement read. None of the artists was near the city of Wuhan, considered the disease’s epicenter.
The decision was “made in consultation with the Michael Jackson ONE medical team and the seven affected artists and was supported by the entire cast and crew of the show,” the statement said. All of the artists are scheduled to rejoin the cast Sunday.
Cirque officials Ann Paladie and former company executive Jerry Nadal said Saturday night they could not recall performers ever being held from a show because of a potential health risk.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.