Actors breaking on stage

  1. The Music Man one is scripted, which feels deeply cynical to me. Everyone comes back from it saying "it was so funny and special to watch them break tonight" and find out that it wasn't special. Like did the director not think people would talk online or do they just not care?

  2. Oh man, is it? That's really disappointing. Between the two I would have though the POTUS moment was scripted, if it weren't for Julie apologizing after. Hell, maybe that was scripted too? Everything is a lie...

  3. Based on what I hear, it sounds like it is more of them just caving to their laughter than completely scripted since it does seem to happen at slightly different points.

  4. I just love they had a backup plan, because that means the same thing (or something related to the book prop) happened a lot during rehearsals and they just went like fuck it, changing this is too much work, we're hiding another prop just in case.

  5. omg I saw Beetlejuice earlier this month and Charles had to pause after the prostitution line and you could see him covering his mouth smiling😅

  6. I think Hugh and Sutton break each other constantly and for that show it works. They have wonderful chemistry and Hugh plays the role with a wink to the audience already.

  7. It seems to be a trend for Sutton too. She also had a moment in the Anything Goes pro shot. Idk if it was written into the actual show or if they just did it for the pro shot. Either way, she’s so sweet, lovable and seems like an absolute gem of a human being so it works well. So scripted or not it seems like she enjoys every minute of what she’s doing.

  8. I love it. Sometimes it plays well in the scene. In Hadestown, Afra was pouring water and Jessie bumped in to her and she spilled the water all over the stage. They both went 😮 at each other, laughed, then cleaned up the spill. Would never have knows the spill wasn’t part of the scene and they played it well.

  9. I saw a production of legally blonde and during the scene where Elle was packing up to leave, the dog kept going into the audience. so while she’s singing and trying to pack, she was also trying to wrangle the dog. she finally got the dog and she picked up the suitcase. As she’s leaving the stage, the suitcase burst open and spilled everything. The last thing you saw before the lights went out was just a huge sigh of despondency. It worked well for the scene

  10. Hate to be the cynic, but the two examples you mentioned (Music Man and POTUS) happen so frequently that it's gotta be scripted. These actors are the cream of the crop - you don't make it to Broadway without being competent, talented, and professional. There's no way these guys are making the same "mistake" night after night.

  11. It wasn't really a break, but more of acknowledging a screw-up with the set. I saw Beetlejuice a few weeks ago and one of the panes of the door busted out, so there was just an open view backstage. At the end of the musical number, Alex pointed back to it a few times to encourage a round of applause for the broken door.

  12. Not Broadway but I was at a local production of Pride and Prejudice and the actor who played Mr Bingley’s pants completely split when he proposed to Jane. They break. Mrs Bennet comes on, looks him up and down and says “I think you’ll be VERY happily married” and all the actors break again. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a theatre.

  13. Actors are human, perfect performances are what pro-shots and movie versions should be for. Breaking and things going wrong are what make live theatre special. They are often the moments we remember. However that logic implies it still should be done sparingly, it would grate on me if the actors broke every other scene or performance even.

  14. When we saw Frozen on Broadway, Elsa (Caissie Levy) only made it through Act 1, and they announced her standby was coming in for Act 2. The beginning of Act 2 has Anna meeting Elsa (standby) in her ice palace after Elsa's transformation and Anna says something like "You look so different!" Everyone in the theater started laughing so hard, even Anna and Elsa, though they reined it in pretty quickly. It was really cute, and a fun memory.

  15. Years ago when I saw the musical “Big Fish” the guy playing the Judge (I think, it’s been a long time) accidentally called Norbert Leo Butz “Norbert” instead of “Edward” onstage in a big moment. The show stopped for maybe 30 seconds while everyone collected themselves both onstage and in the audience. One of the few memorable moments from that show.

  16. When I saw Little Shop back in October, there were a couple moments where it looked like Christian Borle almost made Jeremy Jordan break a few times. Christian was absolutely in his element, doing all this crazy stuff, getting in Jeremy’s face as much as possible, just generally being hilarious, and you could tell there were a few moments where Jeremy came close to laughing. They were just so obviously having a great time (while still putting on an incredible show) and the audience loved it. I’m a huuuge Jeremy Jordan fan, and also never thought I’d get to see a NYC musical live, so I still consider that night one of the best nights of my life, character breaks and all. Theater is just magic.

  17. I was thinking about Little Shop breaks too! I saw the last night of Jeremy Jordan's run and the entire cast was just messing with him all night. He and Christian got major giggles several times and Tammy laid the longest kiss on him it was ridiculous, plus she must've used heavier lipstick than usual because his face was just covered with it after. And Tom Alan (Mushnik) just stood there with a shit-eating grin letting it go on and on instead of interrupting them on cue. One of my favorite MT moments because we were all crying with laughter!

  18. As long as it's not during a super emotional scene and takes place during a comedy, I love when actors break. Adds even more to the feeling of spontaneity of live theatre.

  19. One of the times I saw the revival of Pippin, Charles and Pippin both broke in the scene where Pippin first returns to the castle from school. As Charles and Pippin are first coming together to talk someone in the audience sneezed. Charles turns to them and without breaking character says “Bless you my child.” When he turns back to Pippin they’re both lost. It took them a moment or two to get themselves back on track and continue the scene.

  20. The one I remember the most was when tootsie was in its pre broadway run. Santino had an onstage changed and forgot to take off his earrings. The audience loved it so much, they kept the earring joke in

  21. Julie White is a national treasure and POTUS is THE show to see if you’re trying to catch someone break on stage. The glove moment is pretty much every show at this point. They still improv a bit with it because there’s no predicting how/if it will break, but they try to have it break to create a little chaos. Of the entire cast, Julie is the one to break the most and often gets caught laughing her way through a line or 2.

  22. When I saw Hairspray there was an understudy for Mr Turnblad who was dying during “You’re Timeless to Me.” Both actors were breaking a lot because of this and it was pretty obvious. Towards the end of the song, he turned to the audience and said “you don’t understand, they’re going to kill us.” and the audience was cracking up. I was like 11 or 12 but I still remember it because it was a genuinely funny moment. I can’t say I want someone to break every show I see because it would feel amateur eventually but live theater is a medium where that can happen and you are a part of that moment.

  23. I haven’t noticed actors breaking/corpsing, but I have seen the ASL interpreters break! Carolee Carmello was so funny in Hello Dolly during the scene in the hat shop that the interpreters were fighting their smiles while acting the scene out.

  24. Last Saturday night. It didn't seem like part of the show, the way they hid their faces and stopped lines, so I'm thinking it was either legit, or faked the way Hugh/Sutton apparently do.

  25. Actually saw it happen in POTUS too. Can’t remember exactly when, but it was well past the point where the show is pure insanity so it just made it even funnier

  26. With the touring cast of Moulin Rouge, in Minneapolis, there was an audio problem during the scene right before Come What May (I think) is first sung where Christian’s arms are around Satine as they look out towards the audience. They announced they were going to pause the show mid scene, and Conor Ryan just picked her up and shuffled off stage. It got a big laugh because obviously that was unexpected. When they came back on to reset, he shuffled back on the same way and spun her around a couple times. It was a cute way to make the best of a not great situation.

  27. I saw Jeremy Jordan break in LSOH on Halloween when Borles was dying. Borles was clearly trying to make him break. It was a lot of fun lol. V strong energy bc it was Halloween.

  28. Little Shop and Groff didn’t even bother trying to hide his breaks. If he wasn’t laughing because of Christian, he was laughing at the urchins. They were all well-placed and didn’t disturb the show. It just made things funnier.

  29. Linda Ronstat during Pirates of Penzance. I wasn’t crazy about her performance to begin with so when she broke character I just saw it as being really unprofessional 🤷‍♀️

  30. I was Just in a Production of The Music Man, I played Charlie Cowell. ALMOST broke on his, "Raspberry seed in my wisdom tooth long enough." Was my first ever performance and I'm thanking whatever God exists I didn't break.

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