Laughing Herself Sick! [revised]

This is an amazing stage manager’s report (from an amazing stage manager, reporting on last Sunday night’s show) – a poor woman in the audience was laughing so hard she basically stopped breathing! And our wonderful actors were sensitive enough to hear and hold and everyone responded with urgency and a sense of sensitivity.   We’re all so very grateful for this professional and caring response. And then the show went on!

Stage Manager’s Performance Report
THE ODD COUPLE – Theater J
Day: Sun – Date: 11.21.10 – Curtain Time: 7:30 pm
House Open – 7:04 pm – Curtain Speech – 7:37 pm – Curtain up: 7:38
Act I: 44:08 Intermission – 13:28 (change took 8:48)
Act II: 43:32 – Intermission – 9:55
Act III: 29:45* see note below
Curtain Down: 9:59 pm – TOTAL Elapsed Time – 2:21 Act III
House Count – 198 – Running Time – 2:20:51* see note below

Performance Notes:
House held for sound check; curtain held for patron arrival/seating; intermission 1 held for patron return
Good audience, good laughers; liked the players; loved “Murray it’s your wife”; liked players’ reaction to Felix; liked Felix’s ailments and Oscar’s reaction to them; loved the top of Act II; liked Felix’s cleaning/Oscar’s reaction to it; liked predate argument; loved the sisters and Felix’s reaction to them; liked the Act III argument, as usual, FU joke was a favorite; applause at “you’re all packed”; see note below regarding stoppage of show. Standing ovation.

Accidents/Injuries:
Shortly after “there you are all packed” in Act III, a patron in the house started hyperventilating from laughing so hard (her description). The people around her stood and asked for a doctor. R. Foucheux and F. Shiffman stopped the show, the house lights were brought up and SM contacted HM, who was in the elevator at the time. HM left the elevator and came upstairs to call 911. Dr. Itzhak Brook, who was in the house, went to the woman in distress and helped calm her down. SM reported to HM that a doctor was on the scene and to please come in the house. Once she was breathing normally and everyone returned to their seats, the show resumed with “Why doesn’t he hear me?”  [Once the woman caught her breath and could talk, she told the actors that it happened because she was laughing so hard. Rick replied, saying “not to worry, the funniest parts were now over” and more laughs and applause and the show went on!]
SM spoke with both parties after the show and an incident report was filed.

One thought on “Laughing Herself Sick! [revised]

  1. I was happy to assist the person in need as a physician should. I have assisted people in distress before but never in the middle of a play. I am happy that the woman in distress recovered quickly and the show could go on.
    It would have been gratifying to get a thank you note from the theater.

    Itzhak Brook MD

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