On-Stage Accidents?

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On-Stage Accidents?#1
Posted: 5/6/12 at 8:21am
Have you ever seen anything go wrong on stage? Actors forgetting lines, falling over, being sick, fainting? Sets failing? Alarms?

Try not to cite just previews
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On-Stage Accidents?#2
Posted: 5/6/12 at 8:28am
The first one that comes to mind was at The Red Shoes. I can't even tell you what actor it was but they had a flying harness and next thing the lights went out you heard a thud and the harness was banging into the scenery with no one attached. Lights came back up and it was the curtain call.

hate to say that is the only thing I even remember of the show.
"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
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On-Stage Accidents?#2
Posted: 5/6/12 at 10:24am
I've never actually seen anything go wrong onstage thankfully but that's because I won't go see Spiderman. However here at school the night before Anything Goes opened, our Billy Crocker got a concussion because they pushed the bed out too soon before the door opened. It was a really bad one. But he still insisted on performing and he did. And he was excellent too.

Of course there is also the infamous story of Idina Menzel's trap door incident.
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On-Stage Accidents?#3
Posted: 5/6/12 at 10:52am
I was in a production of NO, NO NANETTE when the set fell ontop of us during "I Want To Be Happy" and later in that same performance, Nanette's skirt fell off during "Tea For Two".
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On-Stage Accidents?#4
Posted: 5/6/12 at 11:33am
I was at The Little Mermaid when this happened:

So crazy. A few minutes before the show we heard a loud crash behind the curtain, and the show was delayed over half an hour. Audience members weren't told anything as to what had happened - it all came out after, in the news etc.

Turns out actor Adrian Bailey had fallen on the large ship set through a door which had been left open. When we left the show, there were reporters and news trucks outside trying to learn what had happened -- though they knew more than most of the audience, who only knew there had been a delay and then they had finally seen the show.

Hadn't thought about this incident in a while, but I just looked up Adrian Bailey on IBDb and it says his last show was The Littler Mermaid. So sad that this accident did indeed end his Broadway career, it seems.
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On-Stage Accidents?#5
Posted: 5/6/12 at 11:42am
I saw Elaine Stritch in "A Little Night Music" and she turned 'Liasons' into a 15 minutes song and someone from the pit had to call up a line to her during the song.

She was also getting lost in her dialogue with Fredricka and the little girl had to bail her out a few times and add some stuff to make her own lines make sense. I was nervous for her because I knew the script so well. And that poor orchestra kept vamping and vamping...
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On-Stage Accidents?#6
Posted: 5/6/12 at 11:51am
When I saw Phantom a year ago, the scene where they transition to Notes/ Prima Donna, we hear this crack! It turns out during the transition the candelabras broke and we ended up having a 15 minute intermition.
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On-Stage Accidents?#7
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:03pm
At a performance of Equus in 2007 Sir Richard Griffiths forgot his lines twice. He was fine the rest of the performance.

Brett Michaels slamming into the descending scenery at the Tony Awards (saw it televised).
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On-Stage Accidents?#8
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:07pm
At Phantom a couple years ago, the chadelier didn't rise during the overture. The show paused and was back up and running ten minutes later.
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On-Stage Accidents?#9
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:12pm
I was injured on stage during a run of a thriller i had written and hat was produced in the UK called 'M'

My character had quite a nasty attack scene in the show where i was thrown on top of a table and strangled before falling down behind the table in a bid to escape. The scene was playing fine and all very safe and then i fell down the back of the table as was staged but someone had left a real glass on stage behind this set piece (we think it was another actor who had ordered a drink from upstairs before the show and left the glass on stage). I fell on to the glass and it ripped open my right knee. I had 2 scenes before the end of act 1 where i did not leave the stage and did not notice that everywhere i walked blood was trailing behind me, my grey trousers i were wearing were soaked in blood. At the interval it was bandaged up and i completed the show only to have to go straight to hospital the next day to have 8 stitches. I refused to take time off from the show though so completed the run stitches an all.
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On-Stage Accidents?#10
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:23pm
Whoopi was late for the begining of Act II in forum, jumps to mind. But the more shows you see, the more mistakes you notice. You are also more likely to notice errors with shows you are familiar with.

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On-Stage Accidents?#11
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:28pm
Bernadette Peters' performance in FOLLIES!

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On-Stage Accidents?#12
Posted: 5/6/12 at 12:36pm
There's actually a whole site here dedicated to Phantom bloopers: http://www.freewebs.com/lamentablemess/main.htm
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On-Stage Accidents?#13
Posted: 5/6/12 at 1:53pm
When I saw Legally Blonde the first time on Broadway, Laura Bell Bundy's shoe came off during "So Much Better". The second time, her wig came off during "Positive". She ad-libbed through the scene, and the whole audience was in stitches. Fortunately, I haven't been witness to any incidents in which the actors were harmed!
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On-Stage Accidents?#14
Posted: 5/6/12 at 2:13pm
When I saw GHOST during the scene when Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman's characters "make love" on stage the curtain started coming down and got caught in one of the side LED panels. There was a loud cranking sound and they ended up having to raise the curtain back up as pieces of the moving side panel fell off onto the stage.
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On-Stage Accidents?#15
Posted: 5/6/12 at 2:29pm
I saw Lupone fall and almost crash into one of those light fixtures on New Years Eve Day during "Patti and Mandy".
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On-Stage Accidents?#16
Posted: 5/6/12 at 2:37pm
A few years ago I caught the Aida tour and during 'Every Story Is A Love Story', when all the museum set pieces are supposed to slide offstage, the big tomb in the middle got stuck and wouldn't move. It remained there throughout the first half of 'Fortune Favors The Brave' until finally some stagehands ran on and pushed it off. It was funny to see the cast attempt to dance around it. I forgot who was playing Radames, but he looked like he was about to burst out laughing.

This isn't really an accident but when I saw Legally Blonde on tour, during 'Whipped Into Shape' one guy's jump rope kept getting tangled up.
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On-Stage Accidents?#17
Posted: 5/6/12 at 2:45pm
When I saw the Wicked tour a month or so ago, during "Popular" Alli Mauzey is very physical, leaping around the stage, stretching in place, etc. On this particular night she also did the splits and then couldn't get up. Mamie Parris finally had to stop laughing long enough to go over and help her up. Once she was on her feet, Alli just looked around, gestured towards the floor where she had just been, and deadpanned, "Don't do that."
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On-Stage Accidents?#18
Posted: 5/6/12 at 3:04pm
During a performance of Elaine Paige's run in Sunset Blvd, London, she slipped and had to grab hold of the back drop to break her fall. She laughed (a lot!) and then continued to sing through her laughter - as did whoever played Joe. Very amusing:)

During a performance of the short run of Always (if that's what it was called, the Edward & Mrs Simpson musical) a dancing butler, who was part of a chorus line doing a Charleston around the orchestra pit, fell flat on his rear and dropped the tray of stuck on glasses he was holding. He got straight back up but looked very embarrassed and awkward for the remainder of the number. It was the best part of the show!


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On-Stage Accidents?#19
Posted: 5/6/12 at 3:18pm
On the Hello, Dolly tour they performed at an outdoor theatre (Starlight Theatre in Kansas City) and a deer came on stage. Carol Channing turned to the deer and said "I believe this is my scene".
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On-Stage Accidents?#20
Posted: 5/6/12 at 5:19pm
I've seen a lot of stage accidents that were fun. Some however I wish I had not seen.

The worst accident was during the premier performance of "The Makropolis Case" at the Met. The opera is about a woman who has found the secret of immortality.

The first performance had been postponed due to a blizzard. A couple days later they tried again. The first scene takes place in a law office. The set had file cabinets that went up forever. In the first two minutes of the show Tenor Richard Versalle, who was in his 60's, was on a ladder 20 or 30 feet up. He sang his line "Too bad you can only live so long", had a stroke, fell off the ladder and died.

The curtain immediately was dropped and a stunned audience was told to go home. It was a horrible experience.

When the show had its next performance the ladder was still there but the character did not go up it.
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On-Stage Accidents?#21
Posted: 5/6/12 at 5:23pm
Older performers can 'leak' if they cough or laugh too hard...
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On-Stage Accidents?#22
Posted: 5/6/12 at 5:44pm
A dancer tripped herself and fell off stage, into the audience in Smokey Joe's Cafe. She just laid there for a couple of minutes. The audience was stunned, but the cast just went on with the number. She got up and hobbled back stage. The show continued and she finally showed up again for the last number.

Also saw a horrible The Gin Game where Ralph Waite couldn't remember his lines. It made me so nervous I left at intermission.
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On-Stage Accidents?#23
Posted: 5/6/12 at 5:44pm
Not onstage, but the understudy for Norbert Leo Butz in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels hurt his leg running down from the balcony during a performance. Jon Lithgow addressed the audience as they wrangled the standby into the costume about what happened.

When I saw In My Life, the angel's cane top flew off and almost hit me during the big skeleton song and dance number.

I blacked out onstage during a revue when I misjudged a flip and smacked my head into the set. I woke up after the chorus and got back to dancing. Apparently, no one noticed that I might have killed myself onstage. They thought I was milking a moment.
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On-Stage Accidents?#24
Posted: 5/6/12 at 7:01pm
Mary Martin was once slammed into a wall when flying during PETER PAN.

At the Opening Night of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, one of the female chorus member's heels broke causing her to fall. She performed the next number barefoot.

At a Six Flags theme park, I believe it was, there was a Looney Tunes show. Daffy Duck's costume glove fell off and Foghorn Leghorn had to try to help him put it back on. It's extremely difficult to grasp anything with these costume gloves, and they were having a difficult time. The glove fell onto the floor again, and was kicked onto dead center stage by Yosemite Sam. Porky Pig kicked it back upstage where a stagehand and Sylvester went backstage and was fixing the wardrobe malfunction. Now, if you can picture this, this incident occurred while the show's audio track played continuously, so all the characters had lines/lyrics throughout. I'm sure this confused all the kids when they could hear Daffy and Sylvestor talking, but their characters weren't onstage.

A few weeks ago at PORGY AND BESS, Norm Lewis exited the show at intermission and his understudy went on for Act 2. During the Storm, when he Porgy is supposed to trip and fall, his cane fell into the Orchestra Pit. An audience member in the front row reached in, grabbed it, and threw it onstage.

All three times I saw SPIDER-MAN, which were months apart, a bumblee fell off that ridiculous villain costume and almost tripped the next villain entering.

About 10? years ago at a performance of a national touring production of THE KING & I, a child climbed the steps onto the stage to join the other children.

I won't say which show, but last week I attended a performance where the lead actor had a snot bubble and as he shouted his next line, the snot shot out his nose and landed on his chest. And it was a HUGE glob! Luckily, it was his last line of the scene before exiting.
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