Broadway Dance Captain Nails Tonys Performance With Only 12 Hours’ Notice

The cast of Broadway’s “Six” capped off Sunday night’s Tony Awards with a dazzling mashup of the musical’s title track and a second showstopper, “Ex-Wives.”

Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, “Six” reimagines the six wives of England’s Henry VIII as female pop stars. Actor Abby Mueller stars as Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife.

Catch the “Six” cast’s performance at the 2022 Tony Awards above.

Unfortunately, Mueller was unable to join her “Six” castmates at the Tonys after she reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day. Producers quickly called in Mallory Maedke, who is the show’s dance captain and Mueller’s alternate, to play Jane Seymour and ensure that the performance would go off without a hitch.

The last-minute behind-the-scenes change wasn’t apparent to the audience, so Tonys host Ariana DeBose took a moment before a commercial break to praise Maedke for her hard work.

“I do want everybody to hear this because this is what tonight’s been all about,” DeBose told the crowd. “This woman is the dance captain and the alternate who was put into this number 12 hours ago. It’s what they do because the show must go on! And this one will.”

DeBose’s shoutout to Maedke felt particularly fitting given the ongoing challenges of staging live theater during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though much of Broadway reopened last fall after an 18-month closure, producers have continued to take unprecedented measures to postpone or curtail performances when principal cast members test positive for COVID-19.

Hence, Broadway shows have come to rely more heavily on the tenacity of artists and performers like Maedke to avoid permanent closure ― a point that Patti LuPone also acknowledged as she accepted the Tony for her performance in the musical “Company.”

Sunday’s ceremony was, by all accounts, a triumphant one for “Six.” By the end of the night, the musical had won the Tonys for best original score and best costume design in a musical.

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