Broadway Back in Business Amid Blackout
Aug. 15, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) _ Broadway was back in business Friday.
``We look forward to people coming _ especially those without power. It should be nice and cool,'' said Jan Svendsen, a spokeswoman for the League of American Theatres and Producers.
After all shows went dark Thursday, theater box offices were open, as was the ticket agency Telecharge. Ticketmaster was experiencing some technical difficulties.
The TKTS half-price ticket booth opened as scheduled Friday afternoon. Lines of would-be ticket buyers snaked a block south of the booth, located on Broadway and 47th Street.
``We wanted a musical, which was our first choice, and we heard `Gypsy' was a good revival,'' said Jim Klingler of Irvine, Calif., after purchasing tickets for himself, his wife, Lydia, and daughter, Anna.
Others in the crowd strained to look at the list of available shows posted on an electronic board in front of the booth.
Several major new shows set to arrive early this fall canceled rehearsals Friday.
``The Boy from Oz,'' the musical starring Hugh Jackman as Australian entertainer Peter Allen, gave its cast the day off. So did the upcoming revival of ``Little Shop of Horrors.'' The musical about a man-eating plant was in the middle of loading its set and technical equipment into the Virginia Theatre when the blackout hit Thursday.
A load-in for ``Wicked,'' the new musical about characters in ``The Wizard of Oz'' also was canceled.
Broadway has had a good summer at the box office. Although the number of productions was down from previous years, grosses were healthy for most of the 23 shows _ 19 musicals and four plays _ that were still running.
Broadway shows have insurance against missed performances, but most policies require a minimum of two performances to be missed, said David Stone, producer of ``Man of La Mancha.''
The Don Quixote musical lost about $80,000 in ticket sales Thursday, according to Stone.
Svendsen reiterated that theatergoers seeking refunds or exchanges for Thursday's performances should contact their points of purchase, whether it was a theater's box office or a ticket agency such as Telecharge or Ticketmaster.
Two who won't have that problem are newlyweds Andy and Anna Hinch of Cheltenham, England. They arrived Thursday, tickets in hand, for Friday evening's performance of ``The Producers.'' The couple was in immigration at Newark Airport when the blackout hit. Six hours later, they finally made it to their hotel.
``We had been in Costa Rica and everything went so smoothly,'' Anna Hinch said with a laugh. ``We had no problems until we got here.''