Hurricane Sandy caused a rare 2 day shutdown for Broadway theatres starting Monday, Oct 29. Despite a massive blackout, and the closure of mass transit and tunnels, actors, stagehands and house staff managed to open the theatres on Wed, Oct 31st. DCTS writer Susan Galbraith’s meeting in New York was canceled due to the power outage. Stranded in the city over the weekend, she reports:
Sunday, Nov 4, 2012 — New York is an amazing place. Strangers sit at restaurant tables talking across the space sharing stories — for some of power outages and inconvenient walks up countless flights of stairs, for others devastating loss.
It is hardest for old people who may not have time to rebuild their lives again. But no whimpering. Just tough getting on with it. Police and others are doggedly working to help people get on with their lives.
Broadway’s lights are up. The show must go on. Went to ONCE Friday night, a charming story of a Czech girl and an Irish guitarist. Very anti-Broadway glitz in style and musical genre. Very refreshing. And the performers asked for money at the end for relief efforts. Actors are amazingly open hearted and generous in times like these.
There are signs, of course, that all is still not well. The subway is still closed. But it keeps all but the die-hards from coming into Manhattan. Lines around the block for buses to get off the island. Lines around two blocks for gas. Across the river on Long Island, where I drove around with friend Pam Bierly Jusino, people had dragged out onto their lawns all their ruined possessions. Other sites people were picking through garbage where once their homes had stood.
Central Park is off limits. And the huge 10-foot story crane still hangs ominously, like a missile pointing straight down. Many people are not allowed in their apartments or work spaces. Blocks around Carnegie Hall are closed because if it were to come crashing down, it could take out buildings, gas lines, subway — it’s a terrifying sight.
Yesterday I walked all the way across town to 10th Street then down to the village to see pal Michael Cristofer in Don’t Go Gentle. It was his last performance. And it was stunning. Hard to believe this man with whom I worked and lived, on and off, for 40 years has become such a luminous interpreter of the inner pain and rage of an old man. It seemed like half the stars of the NY Stage were there to see him.
Afterwards I felt so sentimental about NYC. I walked up and went up the Empire State Building. Seeing the lights back on throughout all of Manhattan, I wanted to cheer. What a great city! And the work must go on.
I’m back in DC now, and looking forward to Mirenka Cechova’s show S/He is Nancy Joe which opens Thursday night, November 8, for four performances at the Mead Theatre at Flashpoint Gallery.
[Editor’s note: For those of you in New York, or with easy access to the city, we hear that theatres have lots of seats. No need to stand in line for tickets.
Here’s the TKTS link]