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Wild Broadway Stories?

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DoTheDood
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joined:3/18/19
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Wild Broadway Stories?#1
Posted: 7/19/19 at 10:22pm
This is probably been a thread on this before but I'm still curious what stories people on here have when seeing a Broadway show (or maybe being behind the scenes of one)? Wild mishaps, actors blanking out on stage, anything gone awry, I know there are some. Also any local theatre stories too if they are particularly strange/fun, but try to stick to B'way if you can (as that's probably more for a thread in off-topic).
sheav536
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Wild Broadway Stories?#2
Posted: 7/19/19 at 10:44pm

i was at hadestown a while back and a woman had a heart attack in the audience, so the show was halted in the middle of livin it up on top. a bunch of paramedics had to rush in and another audience member had to perform cpr on her while they were waiting for the ambulance. also, though it’s not bway, i was seeing a local production and one of the actors fainted during the show. like just full on fainted on stage. the performance was cancelled because they had no standby available.

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BroadwayRox3588
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Wild Broadway Stories?#3
Posted: 7/19/19 at 10:52pm

I'm gonna tell a local one. I was doing 9 to 5, and our Judy fell ill at intermission. So sick, that she had to leave during intermission, and she had no understudy (although she just went home, so clearly she wasn't sick enough to go to the hospital so I think she could've pulled through the rest of the show, but I digress). Anyhoo, instead of cancelling the rest of the show, we decided to do the second act without Judy! "Get Out and Stay Out" be damned. We skipped the number, and did Act 2 as if Judy just wasn't there. You know how they say the audience doesn't notice mishaps? Well yeah...they noticed. Someone asked me if Judy died before the events of Act 2.

5.25.16 My life was changed by Bright Star 4.12.17 My life was saved by Anastasia
Updated On: 7/19/19 at 10:52 PM
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AADA81
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Wild Broadway Stories?#4
Posted: 7/19/19 at 11:03pm

When I saw the reproduction of 'The Pirates of Penzance' at the Minskoff in 1982, the replacement cast included Treat Williams, Maureen McGovern, Patrick Cassidy and Kaye Ballard (with George Rose from the original cast).  Anyway, when the daughters came out for the "Climbing Over Rocky Mountains" segment one of them tripped, sending 2 tumbling over.  The audience laughed and the cast played it up and ad-libbed like it was supposed to happen.  Perfect for that show.

Updated On: 7/20/19 at 11:03 PM
Alex Kulak2
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Wild Broadway Stories?#5
Posted: 7/19/19 at 11:16pm

Not Broadway, but I saw a college production of Violet, and right before All To Pieces, Monty dropped his duffel bag on the ground, and there must have been a jar or container of purple paint inside (probably just some junk they threw in to give it weight), because within seconds, there was a huge purple puddle on the stage floor. The director actually ran down the aisle to pause the show so the run crew could run out with mops and rags to clean up the mess.

The funny thing is that the show is usually presented without an intermission. As a surprise, our performance got a ten minute intermission while they cleaned up (props to the run crew, btw - that stage was spotless in like a few minutes)

Broadway61004
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Wild Broadway Stories?#6
Posted: 7/19/19 at 11:36pm

When I saw the '98 Cabaret revival, when the front of the main platform flies out at the end (after the orchestra has left their seats), one of the music stands got caught.  The stand rose with the platform probably about 10 feet before it fell to the ground and shattered.  I'll give the cabaret girls who were walking out underneath it a ton of credit, as they barely broke character while chunks of metal were flying at them.

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BeNice
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Wild Broadway Stories?#7
Posted: 7/19/19 at 11:51pm
My friend saw a preview of First Date where Zachary Levi’s mic went out (his character is supposed to never leave the stage as he carries the entire show) but he left the stage and his “date” and everyone on stage froze. He came back several minutes later with a new mic and ad-libbed perfectly “Sorry. I had diarrhea” and picked up right where he left off. The audience was apparently in stitches.
BentleyB
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Wild Broadway Stories?#8
Posted: 7/20/19 at 8:58am

I saw The original cast of “Wicked” and in the scene where Feyero runs on stage on the raked yellow brick road to see Glinda, Norbert Leo Butz feet flew out from under him and he slid down the yellow brick road in front of Kristin Chenoweth. She lost it and was hiding her face behind the big wand and was shaking with laughter.  The audience roared for several minutes and she just couldn’t pull it together.  Finally she looks from behind the wand with Butz on the floor and says, “That yellow brick road is awfully slippery.” And she and Butz lose it again and the audience goes crazy. 

MollyJeanneMusic
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Wild Broadway Stories?#9
Posted: 7/20/19 at 10:04am

My family and I saw the second Hamilton tour in Fort Lauderdale in December.  Nik Walker was our Aaron Burr, and during "The Room Where It Happens," at the part where it goes from the "If you stand for nothing, Burr, what'll you fall for" to the quiet part, a few people thought it was the end of the song, and they started to cheer, including one person who let out a little "whoop."  Nik looked over, and I could hear him giggle a little bit before he got back into the song.  It was very funny.

Also, during the "Congress is fighting over where to put the capital" part, someone yelled Wakanda.  So that's cool.

"It's you." "It's me. Orpheus." "Eurydice..." *crying*
StephieElise
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Wild Broadway Stories?#10
Posted: 7/21/19 at 6:44am
Not Broadway, but a few years ago in Melbourne there was a production of West Side Story with a very limited run and no understudies. The actress playing Anita came down with laryngitis and they didn’t have time to replace her. So they ended up having the original actress on stage doing all the blocking and choreography and lip syncing to the assistant director doing the lines and another actress doing the singing. By the time I saw it the actress had recovered, and while she was fantastic I kind of wish I’d seen 3 actresses playing the 1 role!
ShowStop2
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Wild Broadway Stories?#11
Posted: 7/21/19 at 12:28pm

I saw the original westend Wicked cast with Idina Menzel and in One Short Day one of the bobble men fell over and couldn't get back up he just kept rolling around. It was absolutely hilarious and the cast also thought so as they had to stop the number they were laughing to hard. It was glorious. They started again but Idina kept laugh so they had to stop and try again!

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VotePeron
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Wild Broadway Stories?#12
Posted: 7/21/19 at 7:50pm

Groundhog Day, first preview: Many people know the story, but immediately following the opening number of the show's first preview (filled with an entire comped audience of fans), one of the 4 turntables broke. They paused the show, and after an hour, the director and Andy Karl came out and announced they'd do a concert version of the show, which was just magical. They did all of the lighting cues which was a bit distracting as the cast just sat on any set piece that resembled a seat, but it was so special. When the snow fell during "Seeing You", the audience erupted and it's one of the view times my cynical a$$ has cried during a show.

- Rocky, mid-previews - During the second week of previews, the creative team rewrote much of the show and we were seeing the first performance of the new material and staging. The set broke 3 times in act one, resulting in multiple 30 minute holds. The show did run overtime I believe, ending a bit after 11pm. 

American Psycho, final week - It was fleet week, and during "Killing Spree," Ben Walker opened the song with "Hey pretty sailor," referring to the sailors that occupied the front row, instead of "Hey pretty girl". Unfortunately, the audience laughed so hard, Ben lost his place in the song. This was a huge mistake, because the song was 100% digital and tracked, thus the orchestra/conductor/music director could not loop the section back he missed. The sequence is 5 minutes and highly choreographed with many specific moments, and Ben missed all of them. He asked the SM to stop the show via the mic he held during the song, but they kept going. It was wild and if it had been my first time I would've been so confused. That was the best scene of the show, and is on YouTube if you haven't seen it.

 

I'm sure there's more, but those are the ones I remember most vividly.

 

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trentsketch
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Wild Broadway Stories?#13
Posted: 7/21/19 at 10:14pm
I got to see John Lithgow stop a performance of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Norbert Leo Butz was out, so his understudy went on. Sometime between the scene where the two men are in the balcony and their return to the stage, the understudy hurt himself and needed to sit out the rest of the show. However, they had just released the standby and were literally trying to track him down, get him back in the theater, and get him in costume to take over.

Meanwhile, instead of doing an overhead announcement, they send out John Lithgow to explain the situation and entertain the crowd. He told one of his stories, then got the audience to cheer for the standby’s entrance and first time performing the role for an audience. The show was great even with the hold.

Speaking of holds, I got stuck chaperoning a trip to Little Mermaid that featured a 30 minute hold right before the end of the first act because the sets got stuck in their tracks. 30 minutes of a hold to hear Poor Unfortunate Souls and get to intermission. There were a lot of angry families demanding to speak to a manager about the show being ruined.
Akitarent
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Wild Broadway Stories?#14
Posted: 7/21/19 at 11:10pm

I can't find the video. Is there a link or keyword I should type in? Thanks!

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HamilHansen
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Wild Broadway Stories?#15
Posted: 7/22/19 at 2:48am
I was at Great Comet and during the Duel song Josh Groban fell into the pit and knocked over a hi-hat. Everyone thought it was part of the show because he was supposed to be roaring drunk, so nobody really cared.
magictodo123
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Wild Broadway Stories?#16
Posted: 7/22/19 at 5:23am
I was at the first preview of tick, tick, boom! (Theatre Row). The mics stopped working so they had to stop the show and they gave the audience discounted drinks because they actually had to stop the show for more than 5 minutes to fix the sound.

I’m not sure if this was supposed to happen, but I think I was at a performance of If/Then when Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp couldn’t stop laughing, and I think she yelled out “this is supposed to happen!”. I think.
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Wild Broadway Stories?#17
Posted: 7/22/19 at 8:30am

I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the second time this past June. In act 3, when the Dementors are supposed to perform the kiss on Hermione, they couldn't get her attached to carry her off. They eventually sent someone out wearing one of those big capes, and he stood in front of them with his back to the audience and waved his arms really fast in big up-and-down arcs to try to hide Hermione while they hurried her off the stage and the dementors ascended without her. 

There was another technical failure near the end of the show, in Godric's Hollow. During the climactic battle between the gang and Delphi, none of the wand effects went off. Everyone was just jumping around and dodging imaginary spells. Afterward, my companion (who hadn't seen the show before) turned to me and said, "That was disappointing" and I had to explain that there was a malfunction and the scene is actually far more exciting than what he saw.

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