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MRT announced a change in the run dates of its new show ‘Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End’ this week. (Courtesy MRT)
MRT announced a change in the run dates of its new show ‘Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End’ this week. (Courtesy MRT)
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Omicron is making its mark on the local entertainment scene — most notably at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, which this week announced a month-long delay of its upcoming “Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End,” which was scheduled to open next week.

“Due to the surge in COVID-19 infection rates, Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) announced that its upcoming production of ‘Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End’ will pause after the completion of rehearsals next week, and the comedy will restart with both live and video performances on February 24. This move will cause the theatre to shift ‘Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie’ to June,” according to a release from MRT.

“Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End” was slated to begin performances Jan. 19 but will now play Feb. 24 through March 13. MRT’s non-subscription special event, “Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie” will now move to the end of the season, running June 8-26.

“We continue to focus on public health at MRT — our audience, staff, artists, and volunteers,” MRT said. “Given the rise in Omicron, it is best if we pause our production of ‘Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End.’”

“We hope to return to Liberty Hall in February,” said Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director Courtney Sale and Executive Director Bonnie Butkas.

Subscribers will be moved automatically into the new dates and receive a confirmation email in a week. Individual ticket buyers will be contacted directly by the Box Office.

The company will offer one socially distanced performance of “At Wit’s End” — reducing the seating capacity from 279 to 86 — at 7 p.m. on March 8. Call the box office at 978-654-4678 or visit www.mrt.org.

In the meantime, Broadway in Boston plans to go ahead with its regional premiere of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” Jan. 18-30 at the Citizens Bank Opera House. Visit for the latest COVID-19 updates and requirements.

Lyric Stage of Boston recently canceled or reduced capacity of its early performances of its new show “Mr. Parent” by Melinda Lopez, but it will resume regular performances Jan. 14 through Feb. 6.

The one-man performance is based on actor Maurice Emmanuel Parent’s real-life adventures teaching in an urban public school system. For COVID-19 info and tickets, visit .

In the wings

‘RENT’ RETURNS: “Rent” was a mantra and calling card for a generation of musical theater fans. It returns to Lowell Memorial Auditorium for one show only at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17.  More than a musical, it’s a cultural touchstone, a rite of passage and a source of joy and strength for millions of fans. The main floor is sold out, but tickets remain in the parquet and balcony. Visit for tickets.

AT THE HANOVER: Registrations are underway for classes in acting, singing, dance and theatrical design at the Hanover Theatre Conservatory in Worcester. The classes will ignite creativity and inspire your confidence as the new year starts. Visit for a full line-up of classes and info for signing up. Looking ahead, the Hanover Theatre has a full line-up of shows for all tastes and interest levels. They include “Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: Time Bubble Tour” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 and “Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock & Roll Part 3” on at 8 p.m. Feb. 5. Visit for info and tickets.

Nancye Tuttle’s email is nancyedt@verizon.net.