The lights went up again on Broadway Wednesday for the first time since superstorm Sandy hit New York, as entertainers headed back to work in a city still wracked by power-outages and a suspended subway system.
Though some Broadway shows, including "Mary Poppins" and "The Lion King" remained dark Wednesday, the curtain was to rise for many of the other 38 shows, including "Cyrano de Bergerac." Patrick Page, who plays the villain Comte de Guiche in the production, was heading back to the theater for a matinee performance, even if he was unsure if there would be anyone in the seats.
"Broadway is as important an icon of New York City as the subways, so to get back to work is a sign that we can bounce back," he said. "This has been such a tough time for so many and it's vital that we show the lights are on and there's great work being done onstage."
Page said he spent a restless time off in his Upper West Side neighborhood, worried about his in-laws along the New Jersey shore -- he is married to actress and TV personality Paige Davis. He said he checked Facebook to find out how friends were fairing, obsessively watched the news and went out to check that neighbors had ridden out the storm.
"We're New Yorkers," he said. "We'll get through this."
That was also the spirit of New York's late-night TV hosts, all of whom were to be back in production Wednesday. The remaining holdouts -- Jon Stewart with "The Daily Show" and Stephen Colbert with "The Colbert Report" -- were to join David Letterman ("The Late Show"), Jimmy Fallon ("Late Night") and Jimmy Kimmel ("Jimmy Kimmel Live"), who is doing a week of shows in Brooklyn, on the airwaves.
All were to tape with a live studio audience Wednesday. Out of safety and caution, Letterman taped Monday and Tuesday's episodes in front of an empty Ed Sullivan Theater. Fallon did the same at Rockefeller Center on Monday.
Other New York cultural institutions were forced to continue to cancel planned events. Carnegie Hall, which sits on 57th Street near the hanging crane, announced that its Thursday concerts were postponed, after having already done the same for Wednesday night's performances. Lincoln Center swung back into business Wednesday, with the exception of a handful of events. Performances were also to resume at the Metropolitan Opera.
For many, figuring out exactly when to reopen business was a daunting and uncertain decision. While parts of the New York transit system have been restored, predictions on when subways, commuter rails and power to the southern end of Manhattan have generally been vague. Knowing when both performers and audience can get to their stages, TV studios and concert halls has been a day-by-day waiting game.
The Keep a Child Alive foundation announced Wednesday that the ninth annual Black Ball, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed. Alicia Keys was to host, Oprah Winfrey was to be honored and Beyoncé was to perform at the Hammerstein Ballroom event, which raises money to fight AIDS in Africa.