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Missing in Action

cmleidi
Broadway Star
joined:9/27/03
Broadway Star
joined:
9/27/03
Missing in Action#0
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:30pm
Has it become common place for performers to miss performances? Since late July, I don't think I've attended more than three productions where all of the main players were present. Is it just my imagination or is it becoming more prevalent?

The first time I saw TAKE ME OUT Neil Huff was out. The second time Fredrick Weller was out. The third time Daniel Sunjata was out (although he was on vacation that week, but the box office rep lied and told me he would be performing). When I saw MAMMA MIA! for the first time in September, six cast members were absent. URINETOWN had three cast members out when I saw it last month.

I have tickets for MILLIE on the 11th of November, and I'm worried that one of the main players will be gone. IT had better not be Delta Burke because she's the main selling point for me.

As a side note, do performers get paid for a missed performance? And how much are the understudies paid when they go on?
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jrb_actor
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
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re: Missing in Action#1
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:37pm
Performers get vacation and such. I would think Delta will be in the show when you see it.

In most cases, the understudies are just as good and sometimes better. But I do know the feeling when you are dying to see a particular actor in a role--and they are out: my first Broadway show was Victor/Victoria! Anne Runolfsson was amazing. But, of course, I wanted to have seen Julie Andrews on stage. =)

Recently, in a show I was ushering (which out of respect, I won't name those involved), a star was out and the understudy went on. He was truly funnier, I could understand the words coming out of the characters mouth for the first time, and there was finally heart in the role. However, I don't know if a first time audience member would have been able to appreciate that not given the comparison.
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BoxOfficeJon
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joined:8/8/03
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re: re: Missing in Action#2
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:45pm
...and then sometimes on the flip side it is nice when a certain memeber is out. Like I wanted to see AIDA and Taylor Dayne was in it. Well I could have cared less if she had been in it or not. I must say that she did a good jon with I KNOW THE TRUTH when she did it on tv.
...this is wrong on so many levels... Diane Lane in "Must Love Dogs" "If you have poo, now is the time to fling it" -- The Monkey's from Madagascar
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SueleenGay
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joined:6/9/03
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re: re: re: Missing in Action#3
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:50pm
Actors have their weekly salary, and can miss an occasional show if sick or other good reasons and not be docked. But if it becomes a reccuring problem, I believe Equity allows for docking of pay.

Understudies, as far as I know, do not get paid extra if they go on. It is part of their contract, and really what they are getting paid for in the first place. If they got extra for going on you would have a lot more Margo Channings stranded in a snow storm without any gas!
PEACE.
cmleidi
Broadway Star
joined:9/27/03
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re: re: Missing in Action#4
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:54pm
"In most cases, the understudies are just as good and sometimes better. But I do know the feeling when you are dying to see a particular actor in a role--and they are out: my first Broadway show was Victor/Victoria! Anne Runolfsson was amazing. But, of course, I wanted to have seen Julie Andrews on stage. =)"

I would have been livid and heartbroken in a case like that.

I had used Broadway.com to purchase tickets for Thursday's TMO, and when I get to the theatre around four, guess who is out?? My main reason for going again: Daniel Sunjata! Luckily, the people at Broadway.com were wonderful, and they exchanged my ticket for Friday night when he was there. By the way, Sunjata's understudy Michael Duvert is fine, but someone needs to show him how to wring laughs out of lines. At the performance I saw, he killed so many laughs by his line delivery. It made me appreciate Sunjata's performance even more. On the other hand, Neil Huff's understudy (Paul Sparks) gave a better performance than the performance Huff gave the second time I saw the play. On Friday, Huff was sensational though. In fact, Friday's performance was the best I've seen.

Is there a policy that you can only get a refund if the actor's name is above the title?

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jrb_actor
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
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re: re: re: Missing in Action#5
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:57pm
Actually, understudies/swings do get extra money for each performance they go into. This is why some actors prefer to remain an "understudy" over actual billing as long as possible.
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jrb_actor
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re: re: re: Missing in Action#6
Posted: 10/12/03 at 10:58pm
oops!
Updated On: 10/12/03 at 10:58 PM
Dollypop
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joined:5/15/03
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re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#7
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:04pm
I'm under the impression that understudies get 1/8th of the star's weekly salary every time they fill in. Maybe I'm wrong.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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SueleenGay
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joined:6/9/03
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re: re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#8
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:07pm
No, now that you mention it, I was wrong. Thanks for correcting me. It won't happen ever again! re: re: re: re: re: Missing in Action
PEACE.
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jrb_actor
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joined:5/16/03
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re: re: re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#9
Posted: 10/12/03 at 11:10pm
It's something like that or a flat fee. =)

Honey--u may not always be right--but u are never wrong!

(Well, maybe in an un pc way you have been from time to time!) =)
tpdc
Broadway Star
joined:5/30/03
Broadway Star
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Missing in Action#10
Posted: 10/13/03 at 12:09pm
Don't actors who have used all their sick days and vacation get docked 1/8 their pay per performance missed?

I would think the TAKE ME OUT guys are now using their vacation time. Isn't September a traditional time for actors in long running shows to use their vacation?
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TxTwoStep
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joined:5/24/03
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re: Missing in Action#11
Posted: 10/13/03 at 1:26pm
just think what it would have been like to go to CHICAGO in the original production and have the SM announce..."at today's performance the role of Roxy, usually played by Gwen Verdon, will be played by Liza Minelli" (i have some friends who actually were there, they had bought tickets to see Gwen, but heard through the actor grapevine is was going to be Liza, so they didn't ask for a refund beforehand. i think Gwen was out like two weeks or so...)
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
tpdc
Broadway Star
joined:5/30/03
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re: re: Missing in Action#12
Posted: 10/13/03 at 1:36pm
I thought Verdon was out at least four weeks. I think it might have evern been longer. (Did Liza take billing when she did the same for Julie Andrews in VICTOR/VICTORIA?) And for all the discussion on Melanie/Charlotte etc. as Roxie, I think Verdon was the perfect Roxie and no one I've seen has even come close to her in the role.
Hello Gorgeous
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joined:7/29/03
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re: re: re: Missing in Action#13
Posted: 10/13/03 at 3:32pm
I saw "Movin' Out" yesterday, and the guy who was supposed to play Eddie wasn't in yesterday (for those of you who don't know, "Movin' Out" has a rotating cast). The other dancer who plays Eddie was on yesterday, and he was simply amazing! This guy was so awesome, I was suprised that he wasn't in the main cast. In a way, he was an understudy...if he was that good, I can't imagine how amazing the other Eddie is.
~*Christa*~ "Don't ya wanna be the life of the party?" Idina Menzel, THE WILD PARTY
cmleidi
Broadway Star
joined:9/27/03
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re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#14
Posted: 10/13/03 at 9:00pm
What is the refund policy when an understudy takes over? Does the missing performer need to be an above the title performer?
King Stevos
Broadway Star
joined:5/15/03
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re: re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#15
Posted: 10/13/03 at 9:16pm
pst JRB, you still put your self at liability, if the person sees your post...they might have seen your face...

STEVOS
"IF I TRY THERE MAY BE A CHANCE / WE COULD LOVE WITH OUR EYES CLOSED/ WITH OUR EYES CLOSED WE COULD CHANGE THE WORLD!"- Stephen Dwight
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jrb_actor
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joined:5/16/03
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re: re: re: re: re: re: Missing in Action#16
Posted: 10/14/03 at 11:33am
King Stevos--lol There's no way anyone could be sure which show I was referring to--let alone, which performer. Plus, I've got nothing to hide. =)