COVID-19 delays Steep Canyon Rangers show, Bill Maher cancels

·2 min read

Jan. 19—This story was updated at 6:29 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, to add the Bill Maher cancellation.

COVID-19 has once again forced a show scheduled for this week to be postponed to a later date. The Steep Canyon Rangers were set to perform in the Walker Theatre on Friday night but will now play there on March 11.

Also on Wednesday, officials confirmed that the Jan. 30 Bill Maher show at the Tivoli has been canceled for what representatives of the comedian/talk show host/political commentator said were "circumstances beyond our control."

The Tivoli Foundation announced over the weekend that the Broadway show "Jersey Boys," which was scheduled to run Tuesday-Thursday of this week, would be moved to July 29-30, also because of pandemic-related issues with the cast or crew.

Tivoli Foundation Executive Director Nick Wilkinson said Wednesday morning by phone the postponements are part of the reality of booking shows during a pandemic.

"First of all, it's up to the tours and not our decision," he said. "We respect the tours and want to do what is best and the safest, but also it's important to point out that it just means that we will reschedule. I think anybody knows that anything can happen when it comes to COVID-19.

"The show will happen, it just happens on a different date."

Wilkinson said the Tivoli, Walker and Memorial Auditorium have had a good run of successful shows in recent months and he expects that to continue. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit recently did a sold-out show at the Tivoli, for example.

Wilkinson said the facilities are all staffed by vaccinated employees who wear masks and in addition, they operate under whatever protocols the production companies or artists require, such as requiring the wearing of a mask or proof of vaccination.

A bill signed into law late last year by Gov. Bill Lee affects COVID-19 health measures, although it's in litigation. The law mandates that if a show demands that ticket buyers be vaccinated, it has to also offer the option for non-vaccinated people of being allowed in with proof of a negative test for COVID-19.

"That is the way all of the venues in Tennessee are operating," Wilkinson said, adding that the venues here have not had any issues with fans over the issue. He also said the venues have rapid tests on hand if needed, but, "If people don't want to comply, we refund their money," he said. "That's usually what happens. We haven't turned anyone away."

Black Jacket Symphony is scheduled to play the entirety of The Beatles' "White Album" at the Tivoli on Saturday and actor/comedian Rob Schneider is at the Walker on Sunday.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.