Broadway Lights Up As Carnegie, Public Theater Stay Dark
Most Broadway shows are resuming performances today as downtown theaters remain dark amid a crippling power outage.
All Broadway productions are playing except “The Lion King,” “Mary Poppins,” “Scandalous” and “Jersey Boys,” according to the Broadway League, a trade association of producers and theater owners. Shows have been closed since Sunday evening because of superstorm Sandy.
At the Public Theater in the East Village, previews are suspended for “Giant,” Michael John LaChiusa’s highly anticipated musical adaptation of the 1952 Edna Ferber novel. As of noon today, the Public was still without power and its online ticketing, e-mail and phone systems were down, according to a spokeswoman, Candi Adams.
Previews of Chekhov’s “Ivanov,” starring Ethan Hawke, at Classic Stage Company were cancelled through Thursday. And staff members at MCC Theater don’t know when or even if their show will continue at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.
The Lortel, which MCC rents for the Stephen Belber drama “Don’t Go Gentle,” is without power and another, non-MCC show has rented the venue after the scheduled Nov. 4 close.
“For a not-for-profit theater, losing a week of box-office is a killer,” Bernard Telsey, an MCC co-founder and co-artistic director, said yesterday in an interview. “When you only do a six-week run, that’s a sixth of box office.”
Telsey, who also runs an eponymous casting agency, said seeing a show isn’t an immediate priority for New Yorkers grappling with a flooded subway system and spotty electricity.
“Who’s planning to go to the theater?” he said.
“The Performers,” a new Broadway comedy in previews with Henry Winkler, announced a “Sandy Special” at the box office: $29.50 for the best tickets through tomorrow. They normally top out at $137.
“People have no subways, people in New Jersey can’t move,” said Robyn Goodman, a lead producer. “We’re definitely hurting. It’s making our preview life very difficult.”
Goodman said her production arranged for cars to pick up actors and some crew members for rehearsals today. Most shows off-Broadway don’t have that luxury.
“Even if you get the audience to the theater, you might not get the performers,” said George Forbes, executive director of the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, which owns the 299- seat house.
Transportation snafus also affect babysitters, said Randy Weiner, a partner in Emursive, which produces the suspended site-specific “Sleep No More” on W. 27th Street.
“It’s a whole community of people, and we’re all at each other’s mercy,” he said.
Weiner said that The Box, a downtown cabaret nightclub of which he’s a partner, will be closed tonight, normally one of its busiest nights.
“Halloween is like our Black Friday,” he said, referring to the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving.
Carnegie Hall said the Orchestra of St. Luke’s performance tomorrow night was rescheduled to June 1. Pianist Wael Farouk in Weill Recital hall was also rescheduled to June 1. The streets around the hall remain closed to the public due to the collapse of a nearby construction crane, said Synneve Carlino, a Carnegie Hall spokesman.
The blackout forced the Vineyard Theatre near Union Square to postpone performances of “Checkers,” Douglas McGrath’s play about Pat and Richard Nixon. It was to open on Wednesday. A new opening will be announced.
“A Christmas Story, The Musical” said it has postponed its first preview by a day to Nov. 7. The $9.25 million production has a scheduled run of just 7 1/2 weeks.
Disney Theatrical Productions said “Mary Poppins,” “The Lion King” and “Newsies” will resume performances tomorrow. The same goes for “Chicago,” which like “Newsies” is normally dark on Wednesdays.
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