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    Positive Coronavirus Test Halts Shakespeare in the Park for Third Night

    “Merry Wives,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy, had already pushed back its opening night by nearly two weeks after an injury to its leading man.The merriment is still on hiatus.The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Merry Wives,” which had already pushed back its opening night by nearly two weeks after its leading man was injured, announced on Friday that it would cancel its third consecutive performance after learning a production member had tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.The theater had canceled the Wednesday and Thursday performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in accordance with its existing protocols. It announced on Twitter on Friday that it would call off Friday’s performance as well “to support the artistic and logistical efforts required to restart performances.”A spokeswoman for the theater, Laura Rigby, said the theater planned to resume performances on Saturday. The production is scheduled to run through Sept. 18, with a special gala performance on Sept. 20.The theater noted on Twitter that it practiced “rigorous testing and daily health and safety protocols to ensure everyone’s safety.” It said on Wednesday that the cast, crew and staff members would isolate and take additional tests if needed.Earlier this week the theater postponed the play’s opening night to Aug. 9, from July 27, after Jacob Ming-Trent, who plays Falstaff, sustained an undisclosed injury. (He is recuperating, the theater said, and his understudy Brandon E. Burton will perform the role in his absence.)The show, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” has been running in previews since July 6. Written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali, it is set in South Harlem and represents African immigrant communities not often seen onstage. Bioh and Ali have said they hope the production makes Shakespeare accessible to all audiences, especially people of color who may have been told Shakespeare was not for them.“We want it to be antiracist,” Ali told The New York Times this month. “We want it to have opportunities for people of color that didn’t exist before.”In June, the theater announced that it would fill the Delacorte Theater to 80 percent capacity after initially saying it would allow only 428 attendees in the 1,800-seat theater for each performance.People who show proof of vaccination can occupy full-capacity sections, and distanced sections are available for those who are unvaccinated (and those theatergoers do not need to show proof of a negative test to enter). Face masks are required for people in both sections when entering and moving around, though those in the full-capacity sections may remove them while seated.On Friday, Rigby said the theater was monitoring Covid-19 cases in New York City and would adjust its policies if needed in collaboration with its city, state and union partners.The cancellations come amid the rise in cases caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has been responsible for the postponement of a number of stage productions and delays in television and film projects in Europe over the past month. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” musical recently moved its opening night in London’s West End back about a month after a cast member tested positive, while productions like “Hairspray” at the London Coliseum and “Romeo and Juliet” at Shakespeare’s Globe have also experienced delays following positive tests.In the United States, the Delta variant is now responsible for a majority of cases, and some experts are recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks again to protect the unvaccinated. More

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    What’s on TV This Week: The N.B.A. Draft and Cesar Millan

    The N.B.A. hosts its 75th draft and Cesar Millan returns to TV with a new show focused on rescue dogs and their owners.Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, July 26-Aug. 1. Details and times are subject to change. More

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    Tig Notaro’s ‘Drawn’ Explores Strange New Worlds: Animated Ones

    The stand-up special is built around audio recorded in live performances. Then artists went to work. Sometimes they took her bits far beyond what she expected.One day during the production of her new, animated stand-up special, Tig Notaro was presented with a rough illustrated version of an anecdote about her double mastectomy. In the bit, Notaro ponders what her doctors might have done with her discarded breasts after the surgery she underwent following a 2012 cancer diagnosis. What if, she asks, the remains had been tossed in a Hollywood dumpster? Might they have been left for rodents to play tug of war with? More

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    Seth Meyers Demands His Own Ben & Jerry’s Flavor

    If Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon can be on ice cream containers, why not the “Late Night” host?Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. Here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now. More

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    ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ Review: Shakespeare, With a Hint of Celine Dion

    The Drilling Company returns to live theater with this slapdash tragicomedy about two cousins who fall for the same woman.For its return to live performance, the Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot series did not rely on a familiar crowd-pleaser from a catalog of greatest hits. It instead chose a deep cut: “The Two Noble Kinsmen.” This play was not even a solo effort for Shakespeare, who shares the credit with John Fletcher, like a Jacobean version of James Patterson sharing authorship with lesser-known collaborators for his thrillers. This new version might also include a third culprit, the director Hamilton Clancy, since it is unlikely that the original contains references to Celine Dion and the ballad “I Will Always Love You.” (We are double-checking with the Folger Shakespeare Library.)The popcorn aspect isn’t incidental, either: While this isn’t top-shelf drama, there certainly is potential for entertainment in the slapdash, bordering-on-incoherent adventures of two cousins who fall for the same woman, with somber notes inserted at seemingly random intervals, and a time-consuming comic subplot grafted on because why not? This is a tragicomedy so you need a bit of everything, plus plays greater than this one have thrived despite devil-may-care logic.Unfortunately, Clancy’s staging does not exploit this potential, and on a recent evening in Bryant Park, the production relied mostly on a certain earnest enthusiasm. (The show moves to the parking lot of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, on the Lower East Side, next week.)In this iteration, the cousins are the sockless, chino-wearing Palamon (Bradford Frost) and the slightly more brooding Arcite (John Caliendo, in a role played by, fun fact, David Harbour in the 2003 Public Theater production). They actually feel more like mismatched brothers from Delta Tau Chi, hitting the brewskis until they both fall for Emilia (Liz Livingston). Mind you, all it took was seeing her through the window of the cell where they ended up after fighting the power, that is Theseus (Lukas Raphael).This shared passion for a comely lady who happens to be Theseus’s sister-in-law turns the young men into rivals, then they are friends again, then there’s a fight, which does not end well for one of them. As for Emilia, it does not really matter which of the cousins she prefers because the dying one just gifts her to the survivor.Meanwhile, the jailer’s daughter may not be deemed worthy of a character name but still lands a lot of juicy comic scenes after she becomes obsessed — also after just one look — with Palamon. This is an excuse for the actress Jane Bradley to gleefully chew the scenery, except we are on the park’s upper terrace behind the New York Public Library and there isn’t any. To indicate the moment when the jailer’s daughter totally loses the plot (like many of us in the audience), Bradley turns up with smudged lipstick, like a long-lost relative of the Joker. A production interested in subtlety might have excavated poignant resonance from her descent into madness, as when Malvolio garners our sympathy upon being humiliated in “Twelfth Night,” but this is not it.Apparently, Clancy’s concept was some kind of “modern espionage story,” which is not evidenced in what we see. Then again, so many such modern movies are far-fetched and incomprehensible that maybe the idea is perfectly executed.Two Noble KinsmenJuly 28-30 at the Clemente, Manhattan; shakespeareintheparkinglot.com. Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes. More

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    Avignon Festival Forges Ahead, Despite Virus Restrictions

    The French theater festival’s Fringe offering is giving some respite from the pandemic, even as new rules to stop coronavirus transmission are making it harder to get to the shows.AVIGNON, France — It sounds like a virologist’s nightmare: 1,070 theater productions; 116 venues, most of them within Avignon’s cramped medieval center; and everywhere, festivalgoers sitting shoulder to shoulder in indoor spaces.Yet the Fringe offering at this summer’s Avignon Festival — which runs parallel to the main event, and is known as “le Off” — has forged ahead, even as the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus became the dominant strain in France.Is it problematic to enjoy excellent performances under the circumstances? With the rituals of Avignon, including unmasked performers handing out publicity fliers in the street, came a sense of normalcy. Still, a sneaky sense of guilt permeated conversations with theatergoers — not least when new restrictions were announced, shortly after the Avignon Festival began.Last week, the French government decreed that a “health pass” — a QR code proving full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result — would be required from July 21 for all venues with over 50 seats. Restaurants, bars and trains will follow from Aug. 1. (The health pass requirement previously applied only to events with more than 1,000 audience members.)Frustration was palpable in Avignon in the days before the rule came into force. While roughly half of Fringe venues are small enough to skirt it, some companies opted to leave early, and bigger shows reported ticket returns and a drop in bookings. Last weekend, as widespread demonstrations against the policy swept France, protesters filled Avignon’s biggest avenue, shouting “Liberté!” (“Freedom!”)Marc Arnaud in “The Metamorphosis of Storks,” his one-man show at the Théâtre du Train Bleu.Alejandro GuerreroWhile the Avignon Festival’s official lineup (“le In,” in local parlance) went from bleak to bleaker in its themes, Fringe fare at least offered some respite from pandemic worries, since comedy has always been a prominent part of this less highbrow portion of the festival.Two original one-man shows, by Mehdi-Emmanuel Djaadi and Marc Arnaud, combine jokes and impressions with explorations of deep-seated inner conflicts. Djaadi’s “Coming Out,” especially, is an exercise in stereotype busting. The coming out in question is religious: The show recounts the 34-year-old comedian’s conversion from Islam to Catholicism.Support for his choice was scarce, as Djaadi tells it at the aptly named Théâtre des Corps Saints (Theater of the Holy Bodies). His family, of Algerian descent, felt he was turning his back on them; a priest explained that he didn’t want any trouble; in artistic circles, many were ill at ease with what they saw as the Catholic Church’s homophobia and conservatism.Yet instead of expressing the resentment he might have felt, Djaadi looks back on his journey, from teenage rebellion and drug dealing to a Catholic wedding, with amused affection. He points to contradictions on both sides, and France’s churchgoers come in for pointed satire, too.In “The Metamorphosis of Storks,” Arnaud focuses on a much shorter stretch of time. He and his wife went through the process of in vitro fertilization, and we meet Arnaud as he is about to donate a sperm sample — a process that brings up far more feelings than he expected.Morgane Peters as Effie in “Iphigenia in Splott,” directed by Blandine Pélissier at Artéphile.Blandine PélissierAs he stalls impatient hospital staff, his monologue covers his sexual education, his attempts at therapy and anxiety about parenthood. It’s a brisk, honest reckoning with the travails of masculinity, which packed the Théâtre du Train Bleu to the rafters (before the health pass requirement was implemented).Not that Avignon audiences were turned off by darker shows. At Artéphile, one of the few Fringe venues to also function as a year-round cultural space, the director Blandine Pélissier offered a stark and convincing production, “Iphigenia in Splott.”The Welsh playwright Gary Owen is relatively unknown in France, but his 2015 reworking of the Iphigenia myth — translated by Pélissier and Kelly Rivière — should prompt curiosity about his work. Here, the sacrificial victim is Effie, from the Cardiff district of Splott, a blaze of raging energy who becomes unexpectedly pregnant. This 90-minute monologue convincingly attributes the lack of support she encounters to social and medical service cuts, and the actress Morgane Peters takes the role from hard-edge anger to pain with poignant ease.Productions with larger casts were a bigger challenge this year, given that a positive coronavirus test among the company was enough to call a show off, and the director and actress Julie Timmerman downsized her show “A Democrat” as a result. Timmerman retooled this excellent production about Edward Bernays, the American nephew of Freud known as “the father of public relations,” for just two actors (Mathieu Desfemmes and herself). The result is adroitly written and witty, a worthy look at the dangers of Bernays’ techniques when they’re used for propaganda purposes.While the Avignon Festival’s official, curated lineup involves far fewer productions than the Fringe, it was hit with a handful of coronavirus-related cancellations. The artistic teams of two choreographers, Dada Masilo and Dimitris Papaioannou, were unable to travel to Avignon, while Eva Doumbia’s “Autophagies” saw its run interrupted when members of the cast and crew had to go into isolation after coming into contact with an infected person.Mathieu Desfemmes and Julie Timmerman in “A Democrat.”Roland BaduelTwo European productions that went ahead make a lasting impression. Emma Dante, of Italy, choreographs as much as she directs, and in “Misericordia,” theater becomes dance and vice versa. In it, three women raise a child, Arturo, who is described as mentally disabled and whose mother was a victim of domestic violence. Together, they form a bickering, complex family. The dancer Simone Zambelli not only captures Arturo’s twitching, disjointed body, he spins his physical vulnerability and moments of joy into poetry, knotting himself into expressive shapes.Avignon also hosted the stage version of “Pieces of a Woman.” Before it became a film starring Vanessa Kirby last year, the playwright Kata Weber and the director Kornel Mundruczo imagined it for the TR Warszawa playhouse in Warsaw, and the Polish cast delivered a gut punch in Avignon at the Lycée Théodore Aubanel.The play starts with the same lengthy labor scene as the film, but it covers less narrative ground after the central couple’s baby is stillborn. Whereas the screen version details the trial of a midwife who attended to the birth, this is only hinted at as a possibility onstage, and Maja, who lost her child, refuses to go through with it. Instead, the characters’ grief plays out over a long family dinner at the home of Maja’s mother.The result requires more patience on viewers’ part, but rewards it with a fully formed portrait of a family adrift. In that sense, the stage version of “Pieces of a Woman” completes Weber and Mundruczo’s puzzle: Let’s hope Avignon won’t be its only international stop.The cast of “Pieces of a Woman,” by the playwright Kata Weber and the director Kornel Mundruczo.Christophe Raynaud de Lage/Festival d’Avignon More

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    Stephen Colbert Agrees With Mitch McConnell

    Colbert applauded the Senate minority leader for finally encouraging Americans to get vaccinated against Covid-19.Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. Here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now.Late to the PartyStephen Colbert on Wednesday chastised Republicans who are changing their tune on the Covid-19 vaccines, including Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, who is finally urging Americans to get vaccinated amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.“Wow. I’ve got to say — and I hope no one ever takes this out of context — I agree with Mitch McConnell,” Colbert said.“The rising cases are being fueled by vaccine hesitancy, which itself is being fueled by a dangerous pathogen scientists are calling the Republican Party.” — STEPHEN COLBERTRepresentative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, also encouraged skeptics to get the shots after receiving his first dose this week, saying, “I’ve been vaccinated, many of my colleagues have been vaccinated, and the vaccine is safe, effective, and it’s widely available.”“Yeah, Steve, we know. We all got it months ago.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Steve Scalise is like the guy who just now found out about ‘Bridgerton’: [imitating Scalise] ‘You guys, it’s like Jane Austen, but with high, tight man butt. That Shonda Rimes has got a real future.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT“But Scalise seems to want it both ways, because he then criticized public health outreach, saying, ‘You’re seeing some people try to bully people into doing things instead of just encouraging them.’ OK, that’s a good point. Invite people in, entice them, don’t call them out. So tonight, we at ‘The Late Show’ have updated our prize for any unvaccinated Americans who go get the shot. You will now win a lifetime supply of ‘life’ and ‘time.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Inoculations have slowed dramatically, and less than half of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated. So if you think of it like a pie, about half of the pie would be vaccinated while the other half wouldn’t be able to taste the pie because they have Covid.” — STEPHEN COLBERTThe Punchiest Punchlines (Bucking Tradition Edition)“Hey, I want to say congrats to the Milwaukee Bucks for winning their first N.B.A. championship in 50 years. Fifty years. That’s right, they beat the Phoenix Suns, 105-98. But of course, Arizona has demanded a recount.” — JIMMY FALLON“The game was such a disaster for the Suns, Chris Paul had to file a claim with State Farm to cover his losses.” — ANTHONY ANDERSON, guest host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” referring to the Suns point guard“The finals’ M.V.P. was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s from Greece. Yep, a Greek N.B.A. superstar. He could be the first person to star in ‘Space Jam’ and ‘Mamma Mia.’” — JIMMY FALLONThe Bits Worth WatchingAnthony Anderson, the guest host of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” sent cameras to Hollywood Boulevard to find someone who could spell “Giannis Antetokounmpo.”What We’re Excited About on Thursday NightHannah Einbinder, star of the HBO Max series “Hacks,” will sit down with Stephen Colbert on Thursday’s “Late Show.”Also, Check This Out“The Daily Show” became more politically oriented when it was hosted by Jon Stewart, pictured with Senator Bob Dole in 1999, the year Stewart took over from Craig Kilborn. Comedy CentralMadeleine Smithberg and Lizz Winstead, the creators of “The Daily Show,” look back as it turns 25 years old on Thursday. More

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    Skipping the Olympics Is ‘Not an Option’ for Many Advertisers

    Companies have spent more than $1 billion on ads timed to the Tokyo Games, which will take place in empty arenas as the pandemic lingers.The Olympics have long been an almost ideal forum for companies looking to promote themselves, with plenty of opportunities for brands to nestle ads among the pageantry and feel-good stories about athletes overcoming adversity — all for less than the price of a Super Bowl commercial.But now, as roughly 11,000 competitors from more than 200 countries convene in Tokyo as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, Olympic advertisers are feeling anxious about the more than $1 billion they have spent to run ads on NBC and its Peacock streaming platform.Calls to cancel the more than $15.4 billion extravaganza have intensified as more athletes test positive for Covid-19. The event is also deeply unpopular with Japanese citizens and many public health experts, who fear a superspreader event. And there will be no spectators in the stands.“The Olympics are already damaged goods,” said Jules Boykoff, a former Olympic soccer player and an expert in sports politics at Pacific University. “If this situation in Japan goes south fast, then we could see some whipsaw changes in the way that deals are cut and the willingness of multinational companies to get involved.”Panasonic, a top sponsor, will not send its chief executive to the opening ceremony, which is scheduled for Friday. Neither will Toyota, one of Japan’s most influential companies, which also delivered a blow to the Games on Monday when it said it had abandoned its plans to run Olympics-themed television commercials in Japan.In the United States, marketing plans are mostly moving ahead.For NBCUniversal, which has paid billions of dollars for the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the United States through 2032, the event is a crucial source of revenue. There are more than 140 sponsors for NBC’s coverage on television, on its year-old streaming platform Peacock and online, an increase over the 100 that signed on for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.“Not being there with an audience of this size and scale for some of our blue-chip advertisers is not an option,” said Jeremy Carey, the managing director of the sports marketing agency Optimum Sports.A United Airlines commercial featuring the Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will appear on Peacock.United AirlinesIn a Michelob Ultra commercial, the sprinting star Usain Bolt points joggers toward a bar. Procter & Gamble’s campaign highlights good deeds by athletes and their parents. Sue Bird, a basketball star, promotes the fitness equipment maker Tonal in a spot debuting Friday. Chris Brandt, the chief marketing officer of Chipotle, said that the situation was “not ideal,” but that the company still planned to run a campaign featuring profiles of Olympic athletes.“We do think people will continue to tune in, even without fans, as they did for all kinds of other sports,” Mr. Brandt said. “It’s going to be a diminishing factor in terms of the excitement, but we also hope that the Olympics are a bit of a unifier at a time when the country can seem to be so divided every day.”NBCUniversal said it had exceeded the $1.2 billion in U.S. ad revenue it garnered for the 2016 Games in Rio and had sold all of its advertising slots for Friday’s opening ceremony, adding that it was still offering space during the rest of the Games. Buyers estimate that the price for a 30-second prime-time commercial exceeds $1 million.Television has attracted the bulk of the ad spending, but the amount brought in by digital and streaming ads is on the rise, according to Kantar. Several forecasts predict that TV ratings for the Olympics will lag the Games in Rio and London, while the streaming audience will grow sharply.NBCUniversal said that during the so-called upfront negotiation sessions this year, when ad buyers reserve spots with media companies, Peacock had received $500 million in commitments for the coming year.“You won’t find a single legacy media company out there that is not pushing their streaming capabilities for their biggest events,” Mr. Carey, the Optimum Sports executive, said. “That’s the future of where this business is going.”United Airlines, a sponsor of Team U.S.A., scrapped its original ad campaign, one that promoted flights from the United States to Tokyo. Its new effort, featuring the gymnast Simon Biles and the surfer Kolohe Andino, encourages a broader return to air travel.“It didn’t make much sense to focus on a specific destination that Americans might not be able to travel to,” said Maggie Schmerin, the airline’s managing director of advertising and social media..css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-w739ur{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-w739ur{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-9s9ecg{margin-bottom:15px;}.css-uf1ume{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}.css-wxi1cx{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-align-self:flex-end;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}United’s campaign will appear in airports, on social media and on streaming platforms, including Peacock, but not on TV. Ms. Schmerin said the airline wanted to be “matching customers where they are, based on their viewing habits.”Ad agency executives said companies were regularly checking in for updates on the Covid outbreak in Japan and might fine-tune their marketing messages accordingly.“Everyone is a little bit cautious,” said David Droga, the founder of the Droga5 ad agency, which worked on an Olympics campaign for Facebook showcasing skateboarders. “People are quite fragile at the moment. Advertisers don’t want to be too saccharine or too clever but are trying to find that right tone.”Many companies advertising during the Games are running campaigns that they had to redesign from scratch after the Olympics were postponed last year.“We planned it twice,” said Mr. Carey of Optimum Sports. “Think about how much the world has changed in that one year, and think about how much each of our brands have changed what they want to be out there saying or doing or sponsoring. So we crumpled it up, and we started over again.”Visa, a sponsor, will not hold promotional gatherings and client meetings in Tokyo and will not send any senior executives, said Lynne Biggar, the company’s global chief marketing officer. The company’s commercial during the opening ceremony broadcast starts with a soccer game before showing Visa being used in transactions around the world.Visa scrapped plans for in-person Olympics events in Tokyo, but is debuting a commercial during the opening ceremony broadcast.VISANBCUniversal’s sports calendar also includes the Super Bowl in February, for which 85 percent of ad slots are already sold or are in discussions, the company said. Also on the lineup: the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in late 2022 and the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, both of which have put the advertising industry in a difficult position because of China’s and Qatar’s poor records on human rights.First, though, ad executives just want the Tokyo Games to proceed without incident.“We’ve been dealing with these Covid updates every day since last March,” said Kevin Collins, an executive at the ad-buying and media intelligence firm Magna. “I’m looking forward to them starting.” More