Broadway bloopers

Who doesn’t love when things don’t go as planned in professional productions? Live theatre, you know?

While I’ve seen some odd things happen onstage — stuck scenery, actors forgetting lines, missed lighting cues — nothing compares to these three bloopers.

Blooper 1: Chorus Girl Saves the Day

For those unfamiliar with The Phantom of the Opera, this is how the scene is supposed to go (watch only the first minute of this clip):

And then one night, this happened instead (sorry, embedding isn’t enabled for this video — you have to watch in youtube):

Spot the difference?

I’m not sure what the backstory is (actor missed his cue due to a tricky costume change? Forgot? Got sick?), but the young actress (Heather McFadden) playing Meg quickly realized the actor playing Joseph Buquet wasn’t on stage when the lights came up, so she hopped up and did his part. Kudos to her, and kudos to Sally Williams (Mme. Giry) who also doesn’t miss a beat.

Blooper 2: Tricky Trap Door Traps Cast

Ok, for this one, you have to use your imagination.

This is how the scene is supposed to go (skip to 2:50 in the video):

And then, one night, this happened (skip to 0:30):

Yes, it’s an audio recording, but the gist is the trap door lifting Elle’s Greek chorus didn’t open, resulting in all sorts of onstage awkward and adlibs.

Blooper 3: Wardrobe Malfunction

And then there’s this well-known blooper, featuring Carol Burnett and the cast of Putting it Together. While I’m not sure how much of it was “staged” to boost DVD sales (it all comes off a bit too over-the-top for me), it’s still a riot:

Wasn’t that fun? What’s your favorite onstage blooper?

9 thoughts on “Broadway bloopers

  1. although this wasn’t on broadway, i still think it’s worth sharing. a high school’s production of peter pan goes horribly wrong.

  2. that’s too funny! i don’t think anything on youtube has ever consistently made me laugh so hard i cried as this video.

    1. Oh, it’s funny. But also so scary! When that huge set piece tipped over — someone could have easily broken a neck! Shame on the director for allowing such a dangerous production to go on.

  3. Oh! My favorite was the EVITA revival I saw in Chicago, where the actor playing Che slid into the pit during “Oh What a Circus.” They had to stop the show, help the poor guy (and the guy he landed on) out of the pit, and patch him up with a little arm sling. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and then they took it from the top, baby. When he reached and successfully maneuvered his way through the part of the song where he’d previously taken a dive, the whole audience cheered. That’s when I felt the the sorriest for him, actually.

  4. I’d heard of a significant stop to Shrek the Musical when it was still on Broadway. I guess it was during one of the scenes in which Lord Farquaad (Christopher Sieber) was supposed to go off stage, and they realized there was going to be no scene change to the next part. Apparently, he kept the audience occupied and entertained by improving for a good chunk of time while they set up the scene change.

    I’d love to see video/more info about this happening if anyone knows anything or can point me in the right direction!

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