On Saturday, a good portion of Manhattan experienced a blackout at 6:47 p.m., with affected areas including "West 72nd Street on the north, West 30th Street on the south, the Hudson River on the west and 5th Avenue on the east," according to Con Edison.
Power was restored by midnight and Con Ed is still investing the cause of a transformer explosion that scared many tourists and New Yorkers.
Commuters were stuck underground in the darkness on subways and drivers above ground were left to their own devices with blinking traffic lights and scrambling pedestrians.
And although the lights were out in Times Square, with most shows being forced to cancel performances, Broadway did not exactly go dark.
Cast members from shows such as Waitress and Hadestown took to the streets and entertained ticket holders who were waiting for announcements on the status of the evening's performances.
The Best Musical winner of 2019, Hadestown, regrettably canceled the show and made their announcement on Twitter.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel tonight’s performance of @hadestown due to the #blackout. Anyone who purchased t… https://t.co/wDTjFDXGXd— Hadestown (@Hadestown)1563063838.0
However, Tony winner André De Shields performed an impromptu performance with cast in tow outside the theater and riffed on the blackout by changing the lyrics to the show's opening number, "Road to Hell."
When there’s a blackout at @hadestown we take the party outside! #oohitsablackout https://t.co/DCOwQWqRaq— Kimberly Marable (@Kimberly Marable)1563066233.0
Hadestown cast member and Broadway Serves co-founder, Kimberly Marable, chronicled the rousing performance.
Warming things up for Tony Winner @Andre_DeShields https://t.co/15gNxQzrPU— Kimberly Marable (@Kimberly Marable)1563071223.0
Leave it to New Yorkers to turn a momentary crisis into a positive and memorable experience.
@misskimizzo @Andre_DeShields YES!!!!!! That is how you handle the lights going out in NYC. Thank you for sharing… https://t.co/3PUG3plXjy— Nadia Ahern (@Nadia Ahern)1563074631.0
@misskimizzo @Andre_DeShields Y’all made my Sunday already! Going to church on Twitter?! YASSSS 🙌🏿— dcshortwave (@dcshortwave)1563114595.0
@misskimizzo @Andre_DeShields I would’ve paid just to watch this. Rejoicing a blackout 💯💯 #NYCBLACKOUT #HARLEM— KD_21 (@KD_21)1563123146.0
Come From Away, which won the Tony for Best Musical in 2017, embraced the situation and also performed for patrons outside the stage door.
The show's star Chad Kimball led the cast singing "Welcome to the Rock."
Because of course in the middle of a blackout, the cast of @wecomefromaway stepped out onto the sidewalk and starte… https://t.co/CAYq25Dakz— Patrick Schley (@Patrick Schley)1563067094.0
@wecomefromaway wins the #blackout!!! https://t.co/0GOmodbnBX— Billy Recce (@Billy Recce)1563062310.0
@chadkimball1 @wecomefromaway Give’ er!!! Yeah you all get the blackout performance award of the night❤️— Christina Gillingham (@Christina Gillingham)1563065028.0
@chadkimball1 @wecomefromaway This is why Come From Away transcends the stage!— X Jammer 💻 🏳️🌈 🇺🇲 (@X Jammer 💻 🏳️🌈 🇺🇲)1563069733.0
The cast of Waitress served up a slice of joy with their acoustic set that included a rendition of "Lean on Me."
Sugar. Butter. POWER! Unfortunately our Saturday evening performance has been cancelled due to the Midtown power ou… https://t.co/60PC3OVuAl— Waitress Musical (@Waitress Musical)1563065377.0
The cast of @WaitressMusical entertaining stalled theatergoers outside during the NYC blackout. (via @meganrgaffney… https://t.co/p0FiTc1RNN— Dave Quinn (@Dave Quinn)1563063506.0
Thank you @WaitressMusical for your super sweet performance tonight 😭💕 I’m so bummed we weren’t able to see the sho… https://t.co/UXeV7reS0E— Anna Mae Murphy (@Anna Mae Murphy)1563068786.0
The @WaitressMusical cast is prepared to entertain, power or not! @SaraBareilles #broadway #blackoutnyc https://t.co/rkTYpJ2N8h— Erich Bergen (@Erich Bergen)1563066606.0
@erichbergen @WaitressMusical @SaraBareilles This is outstanding!!!— Marilyn Denis (@Marilyn Denis)1563106535.0
@erichbergen @WaitressMusical @SaraBareilles I ❤️ NYC 👏👏👏👏😁👏👏👏👏— LadyJCMuses (@LadyJCMuses)1563110331.0
@AnnaMaeMurphy4 @WaitressMusical What an amazing moment! Thanks for sharing! 😘— Roji hErranz (@Roji hErranz)1563080092.0
@erichbergen @WaitressMusical @SaraBareilles You turned what could’ve been a huge disappointment into a once-in-a-l… https://t.co/gvvCOJsYxr— Mary Cicchitti (@Mary Cicchitti)1563120714.0
According to Playbill, the following shows were able to resume with their scheduled performances:
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Be More Chill
Broadway Bounty Hunter (Off-Broadway)
Fiddler on the Roof (Off-Broadway)
But a vast majority of shows, including Tony winner Hamilton, were not as fortunate.
Blackout, #blackout! Due to the blackout in Times Square, tonight’s performance of #HamiltonBway has been cancelled… https://t.co/WnS9VFqzwh— Hamilton (@Hamilton)1563064628.0
@HamiltonMusical The real Alexander Hamilton didn’t need electricity.— Matt (@Matt)1563064666.0
The cast from Ain't Too Proud sang out from the windows of their respective dressing rooms from inside the Imperial Theater.
One enthusiastic Twitter user captured the performance and misidentified the cast with that of Hamilton, who resides next door at the Richard Rogers Theater.
@cnn @HamiltonMusical was cancelled due to the blackout. The cast sang to us from above the Rodgers Theater in NY.… https://t.co/T5YiODoTe7— A (@A)1563065513.0
@lemonfuzz @CNN @HamiltonMusical I see @derrickbaskin -- I think that's actually @AintTooProud? (The theatre is rig… https://t.co/am4VedQDtz— Laura Heywood (@Laura Heywood)1563070077.0
The largest crowd assembled outside Carnegie Hall, where the Millennial Choirs and Orchestra gave a performance after their canceled concert.
@KatrinaNeeper Here is another video outside Carnegie Hall. You can use it on CNN. My name is Ken Richardson, and I… https://t.co/huYaXL0ZDW— Ken Richardson (@Ken Richardson)1563068095.0
I guess this is what they call a New York moment. After being trapped on the F for an hour because of the power out… https://t.co/3EWZJdvJ8D— Briallen Hopper (@Briallen Hopper)1563063618.0
@KarenMPeterson @cedarwingwax Hi! My sister performed in the same choir last night in Carnegie Hall. The piece is a… https://t.co/w4DqxwRY9j— Chandler🥴 (@Chandler🥴)1563069372.0
@briallenhopper This is what makes America great. Not political parties, ideologies, or flags. But people, all pe… https://t.co/OCU71jcZI1— Rubin Safaya (@Rubin Safaya)1563065786.0
@briallenhopper God bless the #MillenialChoir More people heard your concert due to the #nycblackout2019— kit (@kit)1563066417.0
There were no deaths or injuries reported during the blackout that affected over 73,000 homes and businesses.
John McAvoy, chief executive of utility Con Edison said "it does not appear related to excessive load."
New York endured significant power outrages before, including one following Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Northeast blackout that lasted an entire day in 2003.
Ticket holders may have been inconvenienced for the time being with canceled shows, but they witnessed intimate and once-in-a-lifetime experiences with these impromptu performances.
New Yorkers know how to handle chaos in the city. And for that, they should take a bow.