The New York City blackout in mid-Manhattan turned Broadway performers into street performers Saturday night when the city went dark.
More than 45,000 people were left without power at about 7 p.m., mainly on the west Midtown side of Manhattan. The lights went out just an hour before most Broadway shows were scheduled to begin on Manhattan’s biggest night of the week, so most performers were in place and people had already left for a Saturday night out, the New York Times reported.
Tony-winner Andre De Shields and his band were set to perform Hadestown at Water Kerr Theatre when the city went dark. They decided the show must go on, moving from the theater to the street to perform an improvised riff, “Ooh It’s a Blackout,” a play off the show’s opening number, “Road to Hell.”
“When there’s a blackout at @hadestown we take the party outside! #oohitsablackout – at The Walter Kerr Theatre” Kimberly Marable wrote on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
Broadway Performers Move Shows to the Streets
Most performers were ready to begin their shows when the power went out in Manhattan Saturday night. Some of them decided to give their fans brief performances outside.
Reporter Dave Quinn shared a video from a source on Twitter of the “Waitress” musical performers who decided to take their show to the sidewalk outside Carnegie Hall. He shared a video of dozens of people filming the performance.
“The cast of @WaitressMusical entertaining stalled theatergoers outside during the NYC blackout,” he wrote.
Some of those who were stuck on the subway were greeted with a performance. Briallen Hopper wrote on Twitter she was trapped on the subway for an hour and emerged to see an impromptu concert with Millenial Choirs and Orchestra.
“I guess this is what they call a New York moment. After being trapped on the F for an hour because of the power outage I emerged to see dark restaurants & traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, & an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street,” she wrote.
Matthew Anderson shared another view of the street concert.
Most Performances Cancelled in Blackout
Others who were hoping to see a performance were not so lucky. A Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Gardens was evacuated during the blackout. Bryan Llenas shared a video of the packed stadium reacting to an announcement telling everyone to leave in an orderly fashion.
“Evacuation ordered at Madison Square Garden during start or @JLo concert because of blackout in NYC,” he wrote.
Another person shared a video of the moment the stage went dark.
There are 30 shows running on Broadway and 26 canceled their performances Saturday night, the New York Times reported. The east side performances of “Be More Chill” at the Lyceum, “Beautiful” at the Stephen Sondheim, “Beetlejuice” at the Winter Garden and “Burn This” at the Hudson were performed.
The most popular shows were among those cancelled, according to the newspaper, including “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and all three Disney shows — “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Frozen.” Lincoln Center Theater canceled shows, “In the Green” and “The Rolling Stone.”
A spokeswoman for the Broadway League told the New York Times ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for information about refunds and exchanges.
The three-hour darkness ended at about 10 p.m. Jason Mante was filming people tentatively crossing a dark street when the lights came back on as people cheered.
“WE’RE BACK, BABY!!!” he wrote.