Civil strife in East Africa and the spike in global and national COVID-19 cases have caused the Children's Theatre Company to postpone the show by Circus Abyssinia.
The Ethiopian troupe was scheduled to perform the world premiere of "Tulu," inspired by legendary Olympian runner Derartu Tulu, at the Minneapolis venue Jan. 18 through Feb. 13.
The U.S. State Department had ordered Americans to leave Ethiopia late last fall as a civil conflict grew. That made it difficult for members of the troupe to get routine travel visas.
"Given the visa issues and the spike in omicron, we unfortunately had to push it back," said managing director Kimberly Motes. "But we're excited that they will kick off our next season in the fall."
Based in London and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Circus Abyssinia played the Twin Cities in fall 2019, showcasing physical dexterity and awe-inspiring feats. The show also served as an introduction to Ethiopian dance and music.
CTC said that ticketholders are being contacted to reschedule their tickets for the fall. For "Annie," the current show that also was affected by COVID, the theater offered ticket-holders a choice to reschedule, get a refund or credit, or to donate to the theater.
"We try to be extremely flexible with our audiences and are grateful to them that they have been so patient as we all go on this COVID-19 roller coaster ride," Motes said.
The last time Circus Abyssinia was in town, the fall weather was picturesque and often balmy. January in Minnesota would have offered a different side of the Twin Cities.
"They were about to experience a real Minnesota winter — I'm sorry that they won't have that pleasure," Motes said, laughing.
Omicron also has shut down shows at St. Paul's Park Square Theatre. Park Square has canceled the first five performances of the return engagement of musical drama "Marie and Rosetta." The play, which the Star Tribune said "works spectacularly" in its 2018 run, will now be performed Jan. 26-Feb. 13. The theater said the cancellation of the two-person show is because of "COVID cases and health and safety protocols."
Staff writer Chris Hewitt contributed to this report.