Well I guess the NYPD won’t be arresting these subway performers. The Lion King cast suddenly burst into song on the A train and the energy, volume and beauty of the performance was considerable as you can tell from the video. Who would have thought subway train acoustics are that good. Definitely ‘An Only In New York’ moment.
Subway riders are an interesting lot. If you look down on the right hand side of the video you can see a couple of youngsters having a great time and totally into it. And most of the other passengers seemed to be enjoying it all as well. But some passengers just kept reading their books or fiddling with their phones. It takes all sorts.
I guess the thing about New York City is that people everywhere do suddenly burst into song, dance, play music or any other number of strange things and New Yorkers just take it for granted and either join in or ignore it according to what works for them. It’s like everyone has got the right to do odd things but everyone has also got the right to be completely disengaged and not pay any attention either. This is not true of other places in America and almost never true in other countries and cultures. Street parades yes, public performances to get money also yes. But the assumption that every public space will accept and welcome spontanteous perfromances, no. This easy acceptance of people suddenly doing their thing is very New York City and part of what makes this city so great.