NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Broadway may be closed, but the city is alive again with all kinds of performances.

From Manhattan to Queens, talented actors and actresses have been hitting the streets, bringing New Yorkers new kinds of entertainment.

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The return of Broadway could be heard along the waterfront in Astoria as actors and actresses took to the stage for a drive-in socially distanced live performance of “Phantom of the Opera,” mixed in with the movie.

“I had butterflies in my stomach, I was listening to the album all day waiting for tonight,” Harlem resident John Baines told CBS2’s Cory James.

Baines and his friends showed up for opening night, each getting their temperatures checked before walking in and passing cars and tables spaced at least six feet apart.

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“It’s great,” Ben Toomer said. “I will take my temperature. If I’m safe, it’s safer for everybody else.”

More than 40 spots were sold, which organizers say equals out to about 150 people who on Thursday evening were reminded of life before COVID-19.

“This is the first thing my husband and I have been to since January, so we’re pretty starved for live music or entertainment,” Westchester resident Katy Coppinger said.

“This is whole different experience and being outside. This just seems more personal, they are right there,” Bronx resident Naiyma Deberry said.

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Across New York City, other live plays were also unfolding during the pandemic.

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At the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown, a touch of Broadway was brought to guests dining on the rooftop, while three miles away in Washington Square Park, a theatrical walking tour took place.

“Just to bring live theater back to the streets of New York is so exciting,” said Mara Lieberman, executive artistic director of Bated Breath Theatre Company. “It’s just, it’s magical.”

Very magical for those entertaining front and center, reminding us all that no matter what, the show must and can go on.

“I’m just honestly so grateful. It’s something that I know my soul has needed,” said actress Ali Ewoldt, who played Christine at the drive-in show.

“Just getting ready for a moment to bring live experience to an audience,” actor Derrick Davis, who played the Phantom, said. “It was like Christmas morning because this is what my soul breathes to do.”

The drive-in play also financially helped food vendors, who were out selling food to guests.

For more information on the drive-in, including showtimes and how to get tickets, visit

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