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Biggest/craziest stage doors

Theatrefanboy1
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#1
Posted: 5/18/19 at 12:07am
Just wondering what people recall as being the biggest or craziest stage door experiences.
In recent memory the crowds for Bette Miller in hello dolly, brendon urie in kinky boots. Idina Menzel in If/then. Ricky Martin in Evita. Would probably rank as some my experiences. You know those crowds that would almost turn someone off of stage dooring

I would love to hear stories and experiences from a beyond the last ten years as well.
And stories about the big or crazy crowds of yesteryear when stage dooring was not so much filled with autograph hunters and obsessive stalkers.
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n2nbaby
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#2
Posted: 5/18/19 at 1:40am
There were definitely a lot of people for Bette at Dolly but when I went, the people waiting and the cast couldn’t have been more gracious.

If/Then was a disaster.

My worst was probably Nick Jonas in How to Succeed or Danielle Radcliffe in Equus.
LightsOut90
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#3
Posted: 5/18/19 at 2:01am

Danielle Radcliff in How To Succeed, Darren Criss in How To Succeed and Hedwig, Al Pacino in Merchant of Venice, Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy

VintageSnarker
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#4
Posted: 5/18/19 at 2:41am

If/Then with Idina was a mess, especially towards the end. I vaguely recall that being around the time Frozen came out or maybe things just got crazier because it was closing. Regardless, insanity. Like, definitely to the point of being unsafe.

Little Shop with Ellen Greene at City Center was also insanity. People were waiting on the block across the street. 

The crowds at Waitress are always bad when I've gone or walked by regardless of who is in the show. I think the Brooks Atkinson is just not a great location. It just scares me to see so many people pouring out into the street. Also, I stage doored on a night when a crazy woman ran out from behind the barricades and kissed Dr. Pomatter on the cheek. NOT COOL.

There was a big crowd at Anastasia but that part of the block can accommodate more people and everyone was very polite.

Stuff with bigger or more mainstream "celebs" is actually not too crazy most of the time. Of course, it might be my taste in shows but, for example, Chicago runs a tight ship and I've actually had better experiences there with comparatively bigger celebrities. 

The Color Purple (revival) was a pretty big crowd but nothing too crazy in terms of behavior. Same with Allegiance. Natasha Pierre was just too many people. And past the barricades things kind of fell apart but no one was too crazy. The cast was very accommodating. I think they had such a chill, friendly energy it didn't feel chaotic but it easily could have. 

The Visit towards the very end of the run was pretty crowded but no one was pushy or anything. Side Show (revival) during the closing also felt chaotic but everyone was nice. Tuck Everlasting at the end of the run was pretty crazy.

I assume there are some Hamilton stories if you want to dig up those old threads.

Don't get me wrong. I love my collection of signed items. But I think I'm at a point where if I couldn't exchange a few words with an actor, it's probably not a stage door situation I'd hang around for. I have no interest in being squished three rows back just to get a scribble on a Playbill. 

mailhandler777
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#5
Posted: 5/18/19 at 8:45am
Biggest one I was in was last Sunday at Jessica Vosks last show in Wicked. There were 300 people that were 6-10 people deep at the barricades. It was also pouring so everyone was crammed under the scaffolding. It wasn't crazy though and Jessica was out there a good 1.5-2hrs with everyone.

The craziest one I was in was Waitress during Sara's first run as Jenna.
Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
Theatrefanboy1
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#6
Posted: 5/18/19 at 3:08pm
Does anyone recall back in the day stage dooring with stars like Chita Rivera or Liza or Barbra or Julie Andrews. What were they like
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n2nbaby
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#7
Posted: 5/18/19 at 5:35pm
While it wasn’t when Chita was back in her prime, I did stage door The Visit a few years ago and she was lovely. Spent time with each person, posed for photos, gave me a hug and called me a doll.
spicemonkey
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#8
Posted: 5/18/19 at 5:50pm

n2nbaby said: "While it wasn’t when Chita was back in her prime, I did stage door The Visit a few years ago and she was lovely. Spent time with each person, posed for photos, gave me a hug and called me a doll."

This is so cute.

seeseveryshow2
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#9
Posted: 5/18/19 at 6:12pm
Hugh Jackman drew big crowds during the run of The Boy From Oz. IIRC, his last performance drew one of the largest crowds ever. I was there and I think a good percentage of the audience filled the 46th Street sidewalks and part of the street. People were looking out of windows, as well. I’ve never seen anything like that since.
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Jordan Catalano
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#10
Posted: 5/18/19 at 6:12pm
The two most insanely large crowds I’ve ever witnessed for a stage door were Nicole Kidman in “The Blue Room” and Julia Roberts in “Three Days of Rain”. Traffic was blocked off for the entire block and crowds filled the streets, yet each of them still signed for people.
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nmartin
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#11
Posted: 5/18/19 at 6:44pm

"Does anyone recall back in the day stage dooring with stars like Chita Rivera or Liza or Barbra or Julie Andrews. What were they like"

I did the stage door for The Rink many years ago. There were only about ten people waiting and all Playbills were gathered by someone at the stage door to take to have Liza sign them. We were told that she would only sign inside the theatre. We were asked to place our names on the Playbill and then they were collected, taken inside, and returned very quickly. LIza then came out and a a very young girl, eight or nine years old, went up to her and asked for her autograph. Liza said, "I only sign them inside." She then walked towards her car, stopped, returned to the young child and said, "What the hell?" And signed it.

Chita came out and one other person and I were the only ones waiting for her. She was lovely. 

goodlead
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#12
Posted: 5/18/19 at 6:51pm

Katharine Hepburn in "West Side Waltz" drew a big crowd.  Of course no one dared asked for an autograph.  She came out smiling and was greeted by applause, then got into her limo and drove off waving at the crowd with her Queen of England wave.

jo
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#13
Posted: 5/18/19 at 7:48pm

seeseveryshow2 said: "Hugh Jackman drew big crowds during the run of The Boy From Oz. IIRC, his last performance drew one of the largest crowds ever. I was there and I think a good percentage of the audience filled the 46th Street sidewalks and part of the street. People were looking out of windows, as well. I’ve never seen anything like that since."

I was there, too, and with so many people milling  around, there was no way we could get any closer to the stage door! Hugh ( who is already very tall) had to stand on the ramp of his vehicle so most people could see him as he waved goodbye. It was also a very memorable closing show performance. I do remember the late Barbara Cook ( seated behind us) giving us confetti to throw to the cast at curtain call. Many other celebrities for a closing show performance ( Matt Damon, Joel Grey, Nancy Sinatra, Barbara Walters, Hugh's agent and now WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell, etc). 

 

Updated On: 5/18/19 at 07:48 PM
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David10086
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#14
Posted: 5/18/19 at 8:22pm

Though I didn't see the performance, and I wasn't part of the crowd, I do remember trying to pass around the stage door crowd of 'Private Lives', fans who were waiting for Joan Collins. (This was a few years after DYNASTY ended, IIRC). I guess I was unlucky in timing, as she stepped out and the crowd roared in unison, "ALEXISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

 

It was  rather surreal, as it seemed as though time stood still for that brief silent moment as she jumped into her car (probably frightened half to death like I was)...and then everything went back to normal, and people were wondering aloud, "She's not going to sign?" as they waved their Playbills and almost every magazine cover she was on for the past decade . Meanwhile, all we saw was the back of her limo driving down the street. 

Something I'll never forget, no matter how hard I try. 

RWPrincess
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#15
Posted: 5/18/19 at 9:14pm
The last 2 shows of Anastasia were the craziest I’ve seen. Sidewalk was completely full and people spilling into the street. Still looked organized though. I didn’t stay to meet anyone either day.
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Capeguy
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#16
Posted: 5/19/19 at 11:24am

Liz Taylor in The Little Foxes. Big crowd, waited for about an hour. She was surrounded by her people, who rushed her through the crowd into her limo where she waved from the window.

victoriafr
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#17
Posted: 5/19/19 at 11:27am

Recently, Hadestown is pretty packed. At least six layers of people. Spongebob was also a madhouse, and I really for the life of me can't figure out why.

BLs68
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#18
Posted: 5/19/19 at 11:34am

victoriafr said: "Recently, Hadestown is pretty packed. At least six layers of people. Spongebob was also a madhouse, and I really for the life of me can't figure out why."

People were running to the Hadestown stage door yesterday. Pushing people out of their way behavior. It was bad. 

BwayinVan
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#19
Posted: 5/19/19 at 12:17pm
I remember Finding Neverland being pretty crazy when Matthew Morrison was in it. I’d almost describe it as a frenzy. The Color Purple revival was also pretty packed but they were very organized with how the set up the barricades so there was lots of space. And yes obviously If/Then was rediculous. I saw one of the last previews and people were losing their minds. I was at the front of the barricade and was definitely getting pushed around by the crowd behind which seems to be 8-10 deep.
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poisonivy2
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#20
Posted: 5/19/19 at 12:26pm

Not Broadway related but I have a friend who described to me how out of control the stage door was when Rudolf Nureyev performed when the Royal Ballet visited New York. Margot Fonteyn would come out first, sit  in her limo, and sign stuff to mollify the crowds. When Nureyev himself came out it was truly like a mob with screaming fangirls holding up signs and stuff. 

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BroadwayRox3588
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#21
Posted: 5/19/19 at 2:19pm

Interestingly enough, when I stage doored Lifespan of a Fact for Danielle (???) Radcliffe, it wasn't very crowded at all.

In terms of craziness, nothing beats the last Anastasia stage door. Christy Altomare stayed out there for 5 hours to sign things, talk to, and hug everyone from here to kingdom come. And there were enough people out there to fill at least five stage doors.

5.25.16 My life was changed by Bright Star 4.12.17 My life was saved by Anastasia
Updated On: 5/19/19 at 02:19 PM
BWAY Baby2
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#22
Posted: 5/19/19 at 4:11pm

I have a million stories from the Old Days- hanging at the Winter Garden for Barbra- at the Alvin for Liza when she was 18 in Flora- so I will start with those- and if anyone wants to know how I got Lauren Bacall's dressing room phone number- and Elliott Gould's when he did his 4 performance before closing Drat! The Cat! I will elucidate in an upcoming post if anyone is interested. 

     First Barbra- after trying- as a 13 year old- to get the phone number of her dressing room- unsuccessfully I might add- though I did get the number to her personal answering service - which she never answered- and then changed the number- I was a mischievous tyke, wasn't I?- I did hang out before and after Funny Girl to see her- I did see Funny Girl finally with Barbra November 20, 1966- right before its December closing night for Barbra- is I did get to see her at that point in person. Anyway, the stage door ws always very crowded- and she often did not come out after a show until the crowds dispersed- from what I had heard- but anyway, one lucky day- right before a matinee- there she came- quickly- with her brown newsboy cap on her head, carrying poodle Sadie- and looking so pretty- I hardly recognized her- She did not sign but quickly got into the theater by the stage door. 

     As for Liza- I was running to the performance at the Alvin Theater of Flora The Red Menace- and I almost knocked down a lady standing on the corner- I looked up and it was Liza. I said I was sorry- and that was that. Her stage door was not very crowded. That show was one of the best shows I have ever seen Liza was amazing and I became a lifelong fan- seeing everything I could that she starred in on BWAY- and any time I could see a concert - I went. Love her- though she is now a shadow of her former self.

I waited for Glenn Close at original Sunset Blvd.- and no one ws at the stage door- I said to her- be sure to look at me- I am in fat front row center- and she said- YOU are supposed to be looking at ME. And walked away. 

     No one waited for Lee Remick at Wait Until Dark- but I wanted to see her after the show. I sat in the front row- and my shoe was almost off- and when a scary part occurred- my foot kicked outward- and my shoe flew onto the stage and almost hit her. I did reach over the stage to get my shoe back- I wanted to apologize to her.

      I had a good friend in 7th and 8th grade- who later turned out to be gay like me- no surprise- and we both loved theater- went to a show every Saturday matinee for about a year- 64-65- and saw mostly everything. 

dbird
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#23
Posted: 5/19/19 at 5:21pm

BLs68 said: "victoriafr said: "Recently, Hadestown is pretty packed. At least six layers of people. Spongebob was also a madhouse, and I really for the life of me can't figure out why."

People were running to the Hadestown stage door yesterday. Pushing people out of their way behavior. It was bad.
"

Wow. They've come a long way from the London previews where once I was the only person waiting at the stage door. 

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n2nbaby
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Biggest/craziest stage doors#24
Posted: 5/19/19 at 5:36pm
I went to the stage door right after previews started on their very first matinee and the place was a madhouse. I walked out pretty quickly after curtain and I was the third person in.