Thursday, June 29, 2006


So I’ve updated the entry on “The Full Monty” to include a link to my review (which I’ve only seen online not in print – when will Style get around to home delivery?) but I’ve got to take this opportunity to mention something that didn’t get in my review. There’s a scene relatively early where we first meet Pam, Jerry’s ex-wife, as she storms into the strip club bathroom. Well, during the performance I saw, the lovely and talented Jacquie O’Connor rushed onstage and tripped, a big loud percussive-sounding trip, and very nearly face-planted. My wife gasped and I think a few other folks did too.

The amazing thing was she was right in the middle of her opening line but she barely missed a beat. I don’t remember exactly but I think she might have even ad-libbed something about having too much to drink. Regardless, she went right on, never letting on that her big toe was probably throbbing in pain. I’m sure a lot of folks didn’t even notice and, those that did, were probably just as impressed as I was. The effect on the show was nil; in fact, I would have forgotten all about it if she hadn’t reminded me about it later (sorry Jacquie!).

This to me is one of the most striking things about real professionals, the ability to improvise and carry on as if, “no really I meant to do that.” I think some folks (those who have never been onstage) think actors rehearse so much that everything is just rote by the time the audience sees the final product. With all the curveballs that get tossed during any production, large or small, you can tell the real brilliant folks by the way they can hit even the slipperiest pitch out of the park.

Which reminds me, I came across a listing for this book called “Stop the Show!” which is supposed to be a collection of onstage accidents and which, if it includes stories half as funny as some of the ones I’ve heard, should be a scream. It’s only available for pre-order now, but I expect will be worth checking out.


Anonymous said...

Great Entrance for Jacquie! I love a good trip story as long as it's not about me! You have hit on one of my favorite subjects and I just think it is facinating how every show is unpredictable and you really have to roll with the punches and be aware that everyone is with you. One night during Bunnicula I had an entrance with Russell and he tripped on the end of the stage and fell almost all the way onto his face - I struggeled not to laugh at him but of course tried to act like a concerned wife and helped him up - on our next entrance I added the line " watch that first step dear, it's a doozie!"
Anyone else got some of these stories???

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dave for the compliment about being able to recover in such a professional manner...not sure it's that or just LOTS of practice!
Just to add to this story...after I got up off the floor I crossed to the sink unit, looked up and saw you Dave! Then Linwood Guyton tells me afterwards that he turned to Ginny after my fall and told her that it reminded him of the time I fell in Weird Romance. I guess I should mention that Weird Romance played at Barksdale in 1996! I just LOVE that Linwood was able to just grab that from his elephant memory!