Marquees Lit Again on Broadway

Overture, curtain…lights!

With the power now back on in most of New York City, Friday evening’s Broadway performances will run as usual, according to the League of American Theaters and Producers, the national trade association for the commercial theater industry.

The neon lights went out on Broadway Thursday as a massive power outage stopped the curtains from going up on shows such as The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Aida and The Producers.

The blackout knocked out power across the northeastern United States and parts of southern Canada Thursday afternoon, crippling the bustling city of Manhattan.

Tourists making their summer pilgrimage to New York to catch a Broadway show ended up on the sidewalk instead, demanding refunds as ushers, box office staff and actors were sent home on foot in the sweltering summer heat.

A total of 25 Broadway shows and 16 off-Broadway shows were affected. At the Ford center for the Performing Arts, a notice said the performance of the musical 42nd Street was cancelled–a disappointment for fans who had paid about $100 for tickets.

A sign posted on the door of the New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd street read The Lion King had been canceled “due to circumstances beyond our control.” According to Reuters, ticket holders were advised to call or write for refund or exchanges.

Losses could be big for theaters, especially for shows like The Producers, which could lose nearly $120,000 for Thursday night alone. But some businesses found a way to muster up some commerce despite the power failure.

Irate tourists and theatergoers could have converged, for example, at magician David Copperfield‘s bar at East 74th Street and York Avenue. The place, lighted by candles, was open for business yesterday with a chalkboard sign that read, “Open for Blackout Party.” Employees served bottled beer and made cheese sandwiches on an outside grill.

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