On television, a girl's 18th birthday and a man's 50th birthday were reported as less special because their tickets to Mamma Mia! could not be honored. A school group from the South had taken a bus in, but had no show to go to. Ladies who booked Hairspray months ago were shut out, and were told tickets were not available 'til the fall.
Over at the strike barricades of Les Misérables on 45th Street, however, a family from Utah got an impromptu concert before what would have been the Saturday, March 8 matinee. The disheartened family, who had traveled to see the smash musical, now in its last months, were serenaded by the cast with the finale of the show, which starts with the breathy, rousing words, "Do you hear the people sing...?"
Observers say actor Nick Wyman, the longtime Thenardier of the Victor Hugo-inspired smash, encouraged his castmates to sing the reprise a cappella. Once a pitch note was found, the cast sang the inspirational words about joining in the righteous crusade.
The Utah mom was visibly moved, as were other theatregoers who showed up. Cast members admitted to having lumps in their throats.
As of this writing March 10, it is not known when performances of Broadway musicals will resume. March 12 is the 16th anniversary of the opening of Les Miz on Broadway. March 16 was the previously announced closing date of the show before producer Cameron Mackintosh opted to extend the run to May 18 at the Imperial Theatre.