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Thrilling theatre moments/twists

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jamiekennywicked
Broadway Legend
joined:1/25/09
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 10:28am
**WARNING: THIS THREAD WILL MOST PROBABLY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

What are some of your favorite theatre moments? Mine would be the final moments Of The Scottsboro Boys when the woman is revealed to be Rosa Parks
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 10:36am
Not really much of a spoiler now, but when the Beggar Woman turns out to be Lucy Barker in Sweeney Todd
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justoldbill
Broadway Star
joined:10/17/07
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 09:42pm
No twist, but the streamers unfurling down at the start of the Dance At The Gym always gets me. In GEORGE M!, the number "Popularity" started as a rehearsal number in rehearsal clothes and developed unobtrusively into a fully costumed "performance number". The effect was nifty.

Another unexpected moment in GEORGE M! was when the set-piece pianos flanking the sides of the stage revealed themselves to be actual player pianos by playing the Entr'Acte without anyone at them. Unfortunately, it was probably the best moment of the evening.

Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
Updated On: 5/25/12 at 09:42 PM
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 09:44pm
I always loved the final moment of Little Shop when the vines drop -- did they do that with the b'way production or was that only the original OFF Bway production?
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thetinymagic2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/12/07
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 10:10pm
The very first time I heard Elaine Stritch (in Company, 1970, or 71?)scream sing: (I didn't even know who she was at the time)

..."Iiiiiiiiiillllllllllllll drink to that!"

(and)

"Everybody Rise...rise....rise.....rise....rise....rise....rise!!!!"
NoHSMisNotAMusical
Stand-by
joined:10/21/11
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/25/12 at 11:06pm
I definitely agree with Wynbish. The revelation that the Beggar Woman is Lucy s absolutely amazing. The whole Final Sequence is genius, from "City on Fire" to the Beggar Woman's death to the moment Judge Turpin realizes who Sweeney is. But the most terrifying moment in the whole show is when Sweeney sings "Mrs.Lovett, you're a bloody wonder..." and pushes her into th eoven. It sends chills down my spine.
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Skip2
Featured Actor
joined:12/17/04
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 12:04am

Ann Miller in gold lame at the top of the stairs in MAME...with a bugle!

Ethel Merman with red exploding out of her hair coming down the stairs in HELLO DOLLY.

The ghost dancers weaving their way into the number in the original "Who's That Woman".

The birches parting to show the mansion in the original "A Little Night Music".

The battleship opening like a Japanese fan in "Pacific Overtures".

Robert tap dancing to no one's response in the original "Side By Side By Side".

The original "Turkey Lurkey Time" (see youtube).

"And I'm Telling You..." Holliday version.

Kristen's Sally Brown in "...CHARLIE BROWN".

"For Good" - Kristen and Idina.

"Molasses to Rum" - any 1776

"Dancin Feet" opening in 42nd Street

"Colored Lights" - Liza Minnelli - and "City Lights"

"Finale Medley" - Ain't Misbehavin'

"Tomorrow" and "Easy Street" - original ANNIE

"Applause" - original APPLAUSE

"Love Changes Everything" - Michael Ball

MORE????











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gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined:5/1/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 12:45am
Many will disagree, but...

Ted Neeley performing "Gethsemane" -- especially at his age
"There is no problem so big that it cannot be run away from." ~ Charles M. Schulz
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 12:52am
The obvious mega-musical moments of the '80s ...

The chandelier at the beginning of Phantom when the theatre "restores" itself (not so much the dropping part, but sure, okay).

Grizabella ascending with Old Deuteronomy on the oversized tire, then walking up into the ceiling of the Winter Garden theatre.

The helicopter sequence in Miss Saigon.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 12:57am
As far as revealing twists ... the wonderful "twist" pulled (just like in the movie The Red Shoes), where the director selects a group to step forward, then unexpectedly dismisses that group to reveal the ones left behind are actually the dancers chosen for the job in A Chorus Line.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 01:31am
I can't believe no one has mentioned the last 60 seconds of Cabaret at 54. When the Emcee reveals his armband and the lights come up. Breathtaking, shocking, and brilliant.

I don't even remember there being a curtain call. Was there a curtain call?

Musicals don't really seem to have a lot of twists. I saw a production of Accomplice by Rupert Holmes and I thought had a really cool twist, well two actually. First, when you discover that what you've been watching for 40 minutes is really just a play-within-a-play and later when you discover that you, the audience, is the accomplice of the title.

....but the world goes 'round
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 01:42am
I just cut and pasted this from another thread regarding a question about hazard pay for actors, as it seemed to fit the bill. This clip contains plenty of twists, just not the kind of twist you mean. It was thrilling:

"Most of that choreography [in Kiss Me Kate's "Bianca"] was Berresse's. Equity came in to watch it, made him do it backwards (a far more dangerous proposition), and made him sign a release waiver in the event of an injury. Initially, they thought he might have been coerced into doing it. For the first year, at least, it was considered so dangerous that only he was allowed to do that choreography, but eventually David Elder was allowed to do a modified version of it. The dance starts at 5:20. You miss a couple of really amazing stunts during the reaction shots, but you get the idea. It remains one of the most amazing things I've ever seen onstage.

And he did it eight shows a week."







The gymnastics start around 5:40
Updated On: 5/26/12 at 01:42 AM
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 01:47am
As far as "thrilling," I'll never forget when Betty Buckley hit and held that last crazy high note in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It was off the chart.

The Writing On the Wall
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 01:53am
Well, that set my hair on end. Talk about your memories. Thanks, best12.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 01:56am
The final moments of the HAIR revival. Probably one of the most amazing and chilling moments I have experienced in a theatre.
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Gypsy9
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/06
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 06:18am
The sequence in GYPSY when strobe lights are used to facilitate the leaving of the stage of the youngsters who are dancing in place and their replacement by the older members of Rose's troup, showing the passage of time. That sequence always gives me goose bumps, no matter what the production.

In Act two, another thrilling moment take place when Gypsy Rose Lee is about to appear on stage for the first time and is facing downstage toward the audience and then the scene shifts, with the stage lights temporarily blinding the audience while Gypsy moves to be seen as performing on stage as we, the audience, look at her.(phrased awkwardly, I'm afraid)
"Madam Rose...and her daughter...Gypsy!"
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ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 06:23am
The "At The End of the Day" tableau in Les Misérables.

The disappearance of Sam in GHOST: The Musical.
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chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 06:24am
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Ed_Mottershead
Broadway Legend
joined:10/20/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 07:00am
Not a musical, but the final two minutes of Witness for the Prosecution contain a slew of twists, providing that the right actress can pull it off. Old stuff, I know.
BroadwayEd
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macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 09:41am
At the end of the recent play Assistance, music comes on, one of the characters does some manic dancing, and the set starts to come apart and destroy itself! We loved it.
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Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 10:10am
I haven't seen it, but the reveal at the end of Woman in Black must be chilling.
oasisjeff
Broadway Star
joined:11/15/07
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 10:12am
When we find out the son is dead in Next To Normal... I had no idea. Every time I saw it after that, you could hear the gasps at that same moment.
Now t/d/b/a haterobics on here.
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 10:39am

I often feel in a very small minority for thinking SWEENEY TODD's Beggar Woman reveal doesn't work. Obviously, it does for some (most?) people... but I don't understand how any clear-thinking person doesn't see it coming a mile away.

And I'm never, ever, ever the person to guess a twist ending or the solution to a mystery story, either because I'm not very sharp or I enjoy being taken for a ride... probably both. But the Beggar Woman is so obviously set up at her first appearance and recurs through most of the show with no purpose whatsoever. You just have to know something is up, and once you do, there's only one logical solution.

And the fact that it doesn't (for me) have a slam-bang "aha" IMPACT! at the end wouldn't bother me if that moment weren't so specifically treated that way both in the writing and in every production I've ever seen. No matter how good a production, the "reveal" always rings resoundingly false, yanks me out of the story, and gives me momentary anticlimax before Sweeney pulls Lovett back into their waltz -- because those are the characters I'm invested in, anyway.

Wah-WAH.

Off the top of my head, whilst I'm here, I'll throw in how the final seconds of THE FULL MONTY always get me. I don't know what the general opinion of the show is, but I adore it. As "Let It Go" builds and builds and the electricity of the audience response approaches climax towards what everyone knows is coming really, really soon, I find myself thinking, "They're never gonna make it! They're never gonna make it!" every. single. time. I saw it on Broadway. I saw a very questionable community theater production. I saw a very impressive community theater production. At the end of each one, that big goofy grin was plastered on my face, and I left elated. I hope to never see a performance with a technical glitch in that moment.
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luvcaroline
Leading Actor
joined:10/19/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 02:09pm
Oasisjeff, Next to Normal is the one that I was going to mention. I was very surprised, especially after all I had read about this musical here on these boards before I saw it. I was impressed that no one had revealed this twist here!!
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blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 03:03pm
I haven't seen it, but the reveal at the end of Woman in Black must be chilling.

It's actually the least effective. What you imagine is always scarier.
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canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Thrilling theatre moments/twists
Posted: 5/26/12 at 03:45pm
The most thrilling theatrical moment I ever experienced was during the (2001, I think) Toronto Fringe Festival production of trey anthony's "'da kink in my hair" (which was remounted at least twice in Toronto in larger theatres, and also turned into a TV series).

The play features a number of monologues given by women who are customers in a Caribbean-Canadian hair salon. One monologue is given by a young woman (performed brilliantly by d'bi young) who wears a parka. She's from Jamaica and is now living in Canada with her mother and stepfather (Mr. Brown, a benefactor, who is also sending money back home to the family in Jamaica). She wears a parka because it's so cold in Canada compared to Jamaica, yet she's happy because she has so much more. In Jamaica, she had to share a bed with her grandmother. In Canada, she has her own room and is able to go to school. Her story is very funny, and she speaks with a heavy Jamaican patois. I must admit that I could only understand half of what she was saying, but the largely black female audience was in hysterics.

But then she says something that's seemingly innocuous, yet one immediately senses that the scene has changed. She says something like, "But sometimes Mr. Brown comes into my room."

Suddenly, it feels like the air is sucked out of the entire theatre. The raucous laughter disappears instantly, as the story turns sad and we learn that this girl is being molested. Here, one of the great benefits of her Canadian home (her own bedroom) is being turned against her, as now Mr. Brown is able to abuse her in private.

This was so mesmerizing to me, how the atmosphere of the entire theatre could turn in an instant. I actually went back to see the show a second time because I thought it was a fluke. But it was true. Through trey anthony's words, thorugh d'bi young's performance, and perhaps aided in part by an audience filled with many Jamaican women who could appreciate the humor of this character's experience, but also empathize with the horror of her abuse. It was a riveting moment, a shared experience for the audience, of laughter and sorrow.

Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
Updated On: 5/26/12 at 03:45 PM

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