The show must go on for Broadway, even when the lights are out.
Amid a massive power outage that cut out all electricity for a large area of Manhattan, the casts of a number of Broadway plays left their performance halls and took to the streets to serenade the crowds who were waiting for the lights to come back on. As Vulture reported, casts of Waitress, Hadestown, and Come From Away were among those entertaining New Yorkers on a sweltering night.
“Rather than let their audiences shuffle home in silence, however, casts from musicals like Hadestown, Come From Away and Waitress, as well as performers who practiced all the way to Carnegie Hall, decided the show must go on and took their talents to the street,” the report noted.
“Really, isn’t it moments like these that make sweating through the New York summers worth it?”
As NBC New York reported, the blackout hit most of midtown Manhattan and parts of the Upper West Side, taking out power to 73,000 customers on Saturday evening. The electricity remained out for several hours, with five of the six grid networks remaining down until 10:30 p.m. But while the lights were out, much of busy midtown Manhattan ground to a halt, with Broadway shows and a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden all being forced to stop as audiences were evacuated. Subway service was also out, leaving streets clogged with New Yorkers.
— kendis gibson (@kendisgibson) July 14, 2019
The city’s performers decided to make the most out of a difficult situation. With their performances canceled, many decided to bring the show right to the New Yorkers also waiting out the blackout, giving acoustic performances for anyone who happened to be walking by.
Videos of the impromptu street performances gained some viral attention on social media, with many praising their New York spirit.
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) July 14, 2019
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) July 14, 2019
— Patti Murin (@PattiMurin) July 14, 2019
It wasn’t just the Broadway stars getting in on the act. Other videos showed violinists performing outside their performance hall.
— Asal Helmsly (@AKHelmsly) July 14, 2019
The Millennial Choirs and Orchestras also decided to perform on a makeshift stage outside of Carnegie Hall.
— Ravi Agrawal (@RaviReports) July 14, 2019
Officials in New York said power for the remaining customers was being returned on Saturday evening, but they were still dealing with the after-effects of the blackout including people trapped in elevators. But there was at least a silver lining for those trapped on the streets with no transportation, lights, or even air conditioning — the chance to see a normally sold-out Broadway performance for free.