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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre

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Mark Waltz
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#76
Posted: 2/13/20 at 12:08pm

Four different shows from different eras, but all had completely different types of gasps/reactions from me:

1983 "Sugar Babies" on tour, during "I'm Keeping Myself Available For You", the chorus girls on swings were flying high over the front of the Pantages orchestra in Hollywood. My response was a big "wow!" I don't know that it was audible, but it stuck with me.

2002 "Dance of the Vampires", during "Eternity" when the ghouls came out into the audience from their coffins. I had an aisle seat and half of them walked past me to where I could see a mixture of red make-up and saliva dripping off of their vampire teeth. It really did look like blood dripping from their mouths.

2005 "All Shook Up", end of act one. My sobs from the ensemble singing "Can't Help Fallin' in Love With You" got more intense as each of the characters began shouting out the names of who they loved. I think I was soaked when the lights came up.

2019 "The Inheritence, Part I", conclusion, for obvious reasons. I didn't even remember that a similar situation had been used in "Longtime Companion", and months later, I still don't care. 

One Grecian Ern
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#77
Posted: 2/13/20 at 1:12pm

chrishuyen said: "In The Inheritance Part 2:

 
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"

That's how I knew who had and had not read or seen Howards End prior to seeing the play.

When I see the phrase "the ____ estate", I imagine a vast mansion in the country full of monocled men and high-collared women receiving letters about productions across the country and doing spit-takes at whatever they contain. -Kad
ellbellthomps
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#78
Posted: 2/13/20 at 1:17pm

honestly, the first thing that came to mind was a sold out show of Anastasia with the original cast. When Derek slapped Mary, the whole theater gasped.

Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned in waitress when Earl finds the money.

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#79
Posted: 2/13/20 at 1:23pm
Also when Amneris comes from behind the wall after Written in the Stars in Aida

And also the last two minutes of The Goat

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#80
Posted: 2/13/20 at 1:27pm

The loudest gasp I ever heard was from an audience member instead of coming from an actor on stage. It was a student class trip to the theatre to see the original Broadway cast in OLIVER. Sitting to the left of me was Freddie Shilling, the school's worst bully hands down. Nothing frightened this ginger tyrant except on this one matinee performance. It was towards the end of the 2nd act when Bill Sykes fires his gun as he's on a roof, desperate and running from the law. Well, when that loud gun noise went off, Freddie not only brought attention to himself by letting out a noticeable huge gasp followed by his falling out of his seat. It was our classes' favorite show for many reasons. 

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#81
Posted: 2/13/20 at 1:56pm

In terms of thrillers, DEATHTRAP wins.

 

In a straight play- and I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned- but the revelation of the big secret in VIRGINIA WOOLF.  And after all these years, I'm surprised how often it comes as a surprise to the audience!

EvanstonDad
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#82
Posted: 2/13/20 at 2:59pm

I've only seen the movie version of Proof and it was a long time ago. I remember liking it at the time but not much about the plot. Can someone elaborate on what happens at the end of Act 1 that's so surprising? I don't recall any big reveals in the movie.

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#83
Posted: 2/13/20 at 3:07pm

^SPOILER: That the daughter wrote the proof and not the dead father.

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#84
Posted: 2/13/20 at 3:18pm

The reveal after the birthday cake in N2N. Every time I've seen it. 

 

"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
EvanstonDad
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#85
Posted: 2/13/20 at 4:46pm

^SPOILER: That the daughter wrote the proof and not the dead father.

Ok, now that you say that I do remember that part of the movie. It didn't seem like the kind of thing that would elicit gasps, but I imagine that's because of the different medium and the fact that there's no "act 1 finale" structure in film.

 

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#86
Posted: 2/14/20 at 7:16am

Having recently see Phantom again i am always amazed that people still gasp when he comes out from behind the angel. I sometimes forget that most of the people in the audience are not repeat visitors but people obviously seeing the show for the first time after all these years.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#87
Posted: 2/14/20 at 8:26am

Justin D said: "Having recently see Phantom again i am always amazed that people still gasp when he comes out from behind the angel. I sometimes forget that most of the people in the audience are not repeat visitors but people obviously seeing the show for the first time after all these years."

I find that there is usually also a collective catching-of-breath when the curtain goes up to reveal the "Masquerade" staircase at the top of the second act.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

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- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#88
Posted: 2/14/20 at 11:21am

Sweeny Todd, When I realized who the beggar woman was.

 

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#89
Posted: 2/14/20 at 12:21pm
It’s been mentioned on here a couple times, but I saw Hadestown on Tuesday night and the collective gasp from the audience at the end cracked me up.

It never was a surprise to me because I’m a huge nerd for Greek Mythology, and I’ve been following this show for a while, but I can definitely see still feeling the punch from that, even with knowing.

It’s best explained when Hermès says something along the lines of telling the story over and over and hoping for a different ending.
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#90
Posted: 2/14/20 at 12:51pm
I saw Phantom in London the week after it opened in 1986. Just luck and willingness to pay scalper’s prices which, at the time, weren’t much more than normal NY prices. When the candle holders came up from the floor, the entire audience had that involuntary reaction of gleeful surprise and awe. But that was #2. #1 was when Robert Duvall leaped across the stage is unexpectedly at Lee Remick some 54 years ago, the audience screamed in unison.

Also, agree re the shocking moment in The Ferryman...no one was expecting that. Also, Deathtrap, but nothing compared to Wait. Don’t know if it happened normally, but audience I sat in for An Inspector Calls reacted very strongly when the house began to come apart. The Fiona Shaw Medea also brought gut reaction shrieks when she killed her sons. Also, in the recent Oklahoma, when Curley shot Jud in cold murder, the screams were sizable, especially for such a small theatre.

Finally, as silly as it sounds, when Ann Miller came out with her tap shoes I n Mame, the audience just shrieked with excitement...they didn’t expect it.

But Wait Until Dark was definitely #1.
jvoom
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#91
Posted: 2/14/20 at 1:05pm

Can someone elaborate on The Ferryman ending?

emmyjay
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#92
Posted: 2/14/20 at 5:43pm

It's definitely a two parter with The Ferryman ending:

 
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It's a chaotic ending and I'm not sure I'm getting the order of events right, but both moments got big reactions from the audience, in London and on Broadway.

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#93
Posted: 2/14/20 at 6:04pm
To add, what makes The Ferryman ending hit so hard is it’s preceded by 3 hours of very thick tension where you just know something is gonna happen but have no idea what. And then just when you think maybe nothing will happen after all, BOOM.

People also lose their sh*t when Neville is brought up in Cursed Child.
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#94
Posted: 2/14/20 at 6:11pm

broadway86 said: "Quinn's fatal decision near the end of The Ferryman. It was amazing."

 

+1

 

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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#95
Posted: 2/14/20 at 6:50pm
Deathtrap, when the presumed dead protege writer came leaping through the French doors during a thunder and lightning storm.
SoCalDirector
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#96
Posted: 2/15/20 at 1:39am
When BD Wong pulled down his underwear in the original production of M Butterfly. You would think he had pulled out a gun from the reaction of these older ladies in the front of the orchestra.
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Loudest gasp you've heard in the theatre#97
Posted: 2/15/20 at 1:40am

qafgenius122 said: "The final scene of Lucas Hnath's "The Thin Place" at Playwrights Horizons. It's a bit of a ghost story, so the gasp totally fell in line with what was trying to be accomplished.

 
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Our protagonist tries to telepathically match words with an audience member (just like her grandmother used to do with her) and when an audience member correctly matches the word, the word as written on our protagnosts's notepad held up against her chest,it is spooky as hell. Now imagine you are me, the onewho is chosen to try to "hear" the word... and all of a sudden, I DO! Everyone around me thought I was a plant, or in the show, and I had to assure them I was not, how no one else heard the word astounds me.

"

RE: Thin Place....

 
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I was someone who ended up in the seat where the actor interacts with them! I heard the word that she ended up writing down. But I thought everyone could hear it! After, people kept looking at me like I was a weirdo or something. Did anyone else experience that? I'm still trying to figure out how it happened. 

 


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