Flawed Liver Performances

I’d like to know if any Dopers have ever been to a live performance (play, concert, musical, etc.) where there was a blaring error. For example: actor forgets his line, musician hit a sour note, etc.

For purposes of this thread, let’s omit:

  1. Tiny imperfections in craft or musicianship, such as a theater critic might notice. (Let’s just stick to blaring gaffes).

  2. Amateur performances. Let’s keep this limited to professionals.

I’ve only seen one, and it was relatively minor. Watching a traveling company of Les Misérables, during a scene where Fantine confronts Jean Valjean, she grabs at his chest. The actress accidentally hit his microphone, thus the audience (briefly) heard static.

Uh, the name of this thread should be “Flawed LIVE Performances.” Duh.

Seen tons of them. I get season tickets to the local university theater every year, so I don’t know if you’d consider them amateur, but here are a few good gaffes:

During The Kentucky Cycle, a murder scene where one Civil War soldier begged for mercy while another threatened to kill him with a pistol went a little awry when the pistol refused to fire. Poor actor struggled with his prop for quite a long time, but eventually he had to club the guy with it.

At Cabaret with a lesbian friend of mine, we both noticed simultaneously that, in once scene, one dancer’s costume was, shall we say, moved a bit to the side where it should have covered her nethers. Kinda funny; she and I threw each other the ‘did you see that!’ look at the same time.

(on the subject of nudity, their production of Hair attracted some attention this year cuz, in one scene, about 12 fully-nude actors/actresses appear on stage.)

I also remember a lot of struggling with dogs onstage during performances of Annie and Annie Warbucks.

They also performed the ballet Coppelia once; during one scene, a bell fell off a jester’s costume. For the rest of the performance, dancers either adroitly avoided the bell lying on stage or kicked it around attempting to get rid of it.

There are lots of little gaffes, but I’m gonna keep going; they usually do great work. Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, Agnes of God, The Imaginary Invalid, A Flea In Her Ear, Waiting For Godot, Nunsense…all pretty darn good. Later this month I’ll be going to something I’m not familiar with called Picasso At The Lapin Agile, and in the spring they’re doing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof plus a few others.

I know you wanted pros, but this did prompt a memory of one of my dad’s stories.

He was in an amateur group for several years. In one play, his character was supposed to pull a pistol on another character, but the hammer caught in his jacket and the pistol was jerked from his hand and fell to the floor. The other actor stayed in character by grabbing the now loose gun, and my dad stayed in character by whacking him in the head with a cane he was carrying and retrieving the gun.


Wow… I thought this was another Sweetness thread…

Having been to hundreds of of live performances of bands, I wish I had a nickle for every flub of words, guitar lines, drum beat or what have you!

Yer pal,

I’m a little disappointed. I was going to share my experiences with acute alcoholic hepatitis. Believe me, a flawed liver performance is no walk with Shakespeare in the park!

Max-I guess you know PATLA was written by Steve “Wild and Crazy Guy” Martin.

I used to play in pit orchestras for local theater groups and heard many flubbed lines over the years (the musicians usually ended up memorizing the whole play by the end of the run). My favorite was a performance of West Side Story when one of the dancers fell into the pit.

guy: Yeah, says that in the list of the year’s plays, but didn’t know it was the same Steve Martin. If that’s the case, should be fun.

I almost forgot a couple more: I’ve seen two performances by Cirque du Soleil live (Mystere and Quidam) and both performances had a couple little glitches. Biggest ones in Mystere: there’s a part they call the ‘bungie ballet’ wherein 6 performers on bungie cords swing from trapeezes and do synchronized flips and whatnot while bouncing from the bungie cords. One of the performers missed the trapeeze after a round of flips. The others had to wait (and the band had to keep playing) till she could spring herself back up. Later, they missed a “catch” maneuver and had to try the stunt again.

In Quidam, there was a stunt where one performer was ‘thrown’ by two others onto the top of a three-man stack. Again, he missed the first time and his safety line saved his neck. Tried it again and made it.

Just got back from seeing the Pet Shop Boys in Chicago (It was packed, I couldn’t believe it!) and they put on a big electronic extravaganza. At one point however the video projection had problems or the preprogrammed music didn’t cue up at the same time as the video. Everyone sort of waited politely while they just restarted everything and the frenzied dancing commenced without further ado. All the singers and dancers were offstage changing so luckily no one was left onstage looking sheepish or anything.

In one scene during Cats, during Growltigers last stand, there is the scene where the female cat attempts to crawl away and Growltiger steps on her tail to keep her from leaving. The first time I saw Cats, the tail fell off and the actress picked up the tail and used it as a stole for the rest of the scene, incorperating it into her dances.

>>Being Chaotic Evil means never having to say your sorry…unless the other guy is bigger than you.<<

—The dragon observes

I saw Queen a dozen or so times back in the 70s, and on one tour they had a huge crown over the stage that rose with the first number and then became part of the set. But the night I saw them it wouldn’t rise – so we can hear the drummer pounding away under the thing, dry ice everywhere, crowd screaming – and nothing else happening. They eventually had to stop for about ten minutes while somebody fixed it, then they put the drummer back in place and just started over :slight_smile: The same rig was later purchased by ELO and used as a rising spaceship on their tour.