Heartbreak and joy as blackout calls off musicals


When a massive blackout plunged much of Manhattan into darkness, a choir and the casts of Broadway musicals entertained tourists with impromptu performances in the street.

The outages struck at around 7pm on Saturday, just as many shows were starting at theaters in Midtown and at the Lincoln Center plaza on New York City's Upper West Side.

With subway stations and traffic lights suddenly dark, thousands of people spilled outside on a hot summer's night.

Some were surprised by what they found.

"I guess this is what they call a New York moment," writer Briallen Hopper, who had been trapped on a subway train for an hour, tweeted with a video of a choir singing at sunset. "I emerged to see dark restaurants and traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, and an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street."

Caryn Ross agreed as she posted video of the street concert by the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras with the hashtag BeautifulSoundsDuringBlackout. "Now this is what turning lemons into lemonade is about!" she tweeted.

At Madison Square Garden, the blackout put a sudden stop to a Jennifer Lopez concert, plunging it into darkness.

"I am obviously heartbroken and devastated," Bronx native Lopez said in a video clip she sent tweeted for her fans. "I love you. I am so sorry this happened in the middle of our moment, at our show."

Lopez has rescheduled her concert to today.

Attendees said the concert went dark about 9.30pm in the middle of Lopez's fourth song of the night. The arena was later evacuated.

All Broadway theaters were closed due to the blackout except for the Winter Garden Theater, Nederlander Theater and Lyceum Theatre, authorities said.

But among those who entertained theatergoers with off-the-cuff performances nonetheless were the casts of the musicals Hadestown - which last month won the Tony Award for best musical - Waitress, Come From Away and Rock Of Ages.

Another Twitter user posted video of the cast of Hamilton: An American Musical singing from theater windows to the crowds in the street below.

"It was awesome!" he wrote.

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December 2019

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