Tag Archives: John Travolta

Don’t Actually Break a Leg!

We have all experienced a live show gone wrong. Whether you were on stage or in the audience, those moments stick with you forever and help make live theatre a different experience for each person. We have compiled a list of Broadway Stars sharing their most embarrassing moments. Read theirs and share yours! Did you see a performance go wrong? Were you a part of a performance in which people forgot their lines, had a wardrobe malfunction or fell? We want to hear your stories.

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Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens in “The Heiress”

Jessica Chastain on her mortifying moment in Heiress on Broadway
“When I was doing The Heiress on Broadway, my dog hopped onstage during the middle of a very dramatic scene. I was acting and I heard this jingling noise because my dog was hopping. He only has three legs. I heard jingle, jingle, jingle. I knew immediately. And I thought, oh my god, he’s out of the dressing room, someone catch him please. I have to say my lines. I heard people in the audience gasp, and then ‘whisper, whisper, whisper.’ I delivered the first part of my line and walked off the stage because I knew my dog would follow me. He hopped off with me, I picked him up and handed him to someone. Then I went back onstage and finished my line.”

Erin Davie on being betrayed by the sound man in The Phantom of the Opera
“I was doing the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber right out of college. And I sang The Phantom of the Opera. And even on Broadway the end of the title song is pre-recorded because Christine has to sing a high “E.” I think they make it easy on the ladies. So in my show, just at the very end of the song, I was singing to my own voice that was pre-recorded. Then the sound man turned the sound off and we started to take our bows. But when I was in mid-bow, my voice came back on. So it seemed like I hadn’t sung any of it. It was a quick blip. But at the time I was horrified. I wanted to say, ‘But it was ME! I swear I DID sing that!’”

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Emily Padgett and Erin Davie play the conjoined twins of “Side Show”

Emily Padgett on the perils of over-hydrating in Side Show
“During [Side Show] we don’t have any bathroom breaks at all. At the top of the show we don’t get a break until intermission. So we try to keep our voice really hydrated. But there was one day when I drank too much water and during “Who Will Love Me As I Am,” [a particularly dramatic song], I was in so much pain, I really thought it was going to happen. But I made it and it didn’t, but that was the worst. It was awful. And now I can’t drink that much water before the show.”

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Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots”

Billy Porter on when his Kinky Boots fought back
“I ripped the heel off of my blue stacked stiletto boot on the way down the stairs into the factory of Kinky Boots. My heel was dangling underfoot as I tried singing “The Sex Is In The Heel” with a straight face.”

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Nina Arianda accepts her Tony Award

Nina Arianda on showing too much in The King and I
“A long, long time ago, I was dancing in [a community production of] The King and I. At the end of a dance number, when I got to the final pose, my pants fell down around my ankles. I was wearing one of those diaper looking Samurai deals underneath. I don’t know why. It was the late 1990s. So I dropped trou not even wanting to. Everyone was laughing. But as they say, you have to fake it ’til you make it. Yes, of course I MEANT to do that right? But what happens when you trip on a sidewalk in New York? Do you make a story out of it? No! You keep walking. It’s all part of life.”

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Sutton Foster in “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

Sutton Foster on dropping her drawers on the Great White Way
”I lost my underwear during Thoroughly Modern Millie. I hit my final pose and my underwear fell down. They were like little tap shorts.”

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Laura Bell Bundy on right in “Legally Blonde”

Laura Bell Bundy on flipping her lid in Legally Blonde
“During Legally Blonde, I lost my wig about three times. When my wig fell off, I was wearing a wig cap so it looked like I was bald. During those moments I broke the fourth wall and said, ‘Thank you for coming to see Legally Bald.’ That got a big laugh. I’ve also had shoes fly off into the audience. I’ve lost clothes. I’ve almost fallen into the pit. I actually fell off the stage once. When you do something like 800 shows, that’s what happens.”

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Judy Kaye and John Travolta in “Grease”

Judy Kaye on a particularly dangerous Hand Jive in Grease
“I’ve had many wardrobe malfunctions in my life. I’ve had to do whole scenes holding my dress together. I remember doing Rizzo in Grease on the road in 1973. We were in Denver and during the Hand Jive the entire dress exploded off my body. I had to dance into the wings and get sewn into it and Hand Jive back onto the stage. See, I’ve been there baby.”

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Karen Pittman on far left

Karen Pittman on really wowing her agent in Gem of the Ocean
“I finally found an agent that I really liked and while doing a showcase, the agency showed up to watch me work. My big break!  Well, my scene with Cornelius Smith, Jr (from All My Children) from August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean came up. As we broke apart from a passionate embrace, my hoop skirt fell to my ankles. I stood in front of the entire crowd in my Spanx. I played it off with a dizzying maneuver using a kitchen knife and a chopping board, pulled my skirt up. And as they say in the theatre, the show must go on. Needless to say, the agent was impressed.  He’s my agent to this day. Although, I dunno if it was because of what they saw in my acting —- or what they saw in my Spanx…naughty!”

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John Larroquette in “How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying”

John Larroquette on knocking himself out without really trying
”I knocked myself out while on stage once. I ran across the stage and hit a wall. The audience thought it was hilarious.”

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Kelsey Grammer and Matthew Morrison in “Finding Neverland”

Kelsey Grammer on giving his all
”As I lifted [a costar], with my posterior aimed at the audience, I passed gas, in an explosive form.”

 

Beyond the Stage

Musicals are everywhere! From the Broadway stage to live television broadcasts, musicals have had an amazing resurgence in current pop culture. And every few months or so we all get teased with the possibility of a Wicked movie. There has also been a lot of talk lately about an In The Heights or possibly even a Hamilton movie! While we patiently hold our breath for those projects to happen, here is a list of some of our favorite shows that have gone beyond the stage.

Grease

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“Greased Lightning” from the 1978 motion picture Grease

This Broadway musical made its debut in 1972. The concept was created over a couple of beers at a party by creators Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey in an effort to go against the grain of “traditional” Broadway shows. The show opened one year later at the Eden Theatre, just off Broadway, but was not the success originally hoped for. Loved by the public but scrutinized by critics the show ultimately was snubbed by the Tony Awards because the Eden Theatre did not qualify as a Broadway Theatre. It wasn’t until 1978 when the smash hit film took the story to the next level. Since then the show has seen numerous revivals, high school productions, and even a live broadcast on Fox.

 

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Grease Live January 31, 2016

Hairspray

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Hairspray is the 1988 movie turned Broadway show turned 2007 movie turned upcoming NBC live broadcast! The original 1988 film featuring notable actors such as Sonny Bono, Debbie Harry, Ricki Lake, and Jerry Stiller had a modest release at the box office but developed a cult following up its release on home video. (Which is like Blu Ray and DVD release for our younger readers.) In 2002 the Broadway musical debuted staring the ever fierce Harvey Firestein as Edna Turnblad. The show picked up 8 Tony Award wins including Best Musical.

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Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 motion picture Hairspray.

In 2007 the hunt for the next Tracy was on as the story took to the silver screen once more. This time some script changes were in order and a star studded cast including John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, and Zac Efron came together to break box office records for the biggest opening weekend of a movie musical.

Now we anxiously await for more news about the NBC’s Hairspray Live which has already announced the return of Harvey Firestein as Edna Turnblad as well as Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short and newcomer Maddie Baillio.

 

The Wiz

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Cast of the 1978 motion picture The Wiz

The Wiz, Also known by its original name The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical “Wonderful Wizard of Oz, opened on October 21, 1974 in Baltimore. In 1975 the show took to Broadway and racked up 7 Tony Awards including Best Musical and became an early example of Broadway’s mainstream acceptance of works with an all-black cast. In 1978 the film version was released and became an instant cult classic. In December of 2015 NBC broadcasted The Wiz Live featuring Common, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige, and Queen Latifah.

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Chicago

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Originally based on a play by the same name the story is a satire on the corruption n the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal” With music by John Kander, lyrics and book by Fred Ebb,  choreography by Bob Fosse, this show was set to be a hit. The original production only ran on Broadway for 936 performances until 1977 but it was the revival that gained the momentum. It currently holds the record as the longest running musical revival in American Broadway history.  Now the show has a reputation of casting an on going onslaught of celebrities in its leading roles such as Brandy, Eddie George, Rumer Willis, Patrick Swayze, Usher, Michael C. Hall and many more.

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In 2002 the film, directed by Rob Marshall, pulled together an outstanding cast including Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Catherine Zeta-Jones to name a few. In 2003 the film scored 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

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Mamma Mia

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This show got started just a bit differently than most. The show opened in London’s West End in 1999. Being completely comprised of songs from the Swedish pop/dance group ABBA, producer Judy Craymer was nervous about how well the show would be received. It wasn’t long before the craze caught on and in 2001 the Mamma Mia opened on Broadway. Since then, the show has has 5,773 performances on Broadway and has played in 40 countries. In September of 2015 Mamma Mia said goodbye to Broadway but continues to tour.

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In 2008 the Mamma Mia went from stage to screen. I think we can all agree that Meryl Streep was the best part of this adaptation but was well supported by her cast including Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Amanda Seyfried. The movie received mixed reviews from critics and was considered a box office flop but you can’t escape the power of the soundtrack!

Sound of Music

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Julie Andrews (Maria) The Sound of Music film

This Rogers and Hammerstein classic opened on Broadway in November of 1959. The story, based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, earned 9 Tony nominations and 5 Tony wins including Best Musical. Sadly this would be the last musical written by the Rogers and Hammerstein team as Oscar Hammerstein died only nine months after the Broadway premiere. In 1965 the film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer would walk away with five Academy Awards.

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Mary Martin in the original Broadway production.

In 2013 the resurgence of the live television musical event was brought back to life with NBC’s Sound of Music Live. While critics thought Carrie Underwood’s performance was amateur at best the ratings sang a different tune. The Sound of Music Live brought the network its highest Thursday night viewership since the series finale of Frasier in 2004 with 18.62 million viewers.

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The Rocky Horror Show

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Not many people know that The Rocky Horror Show made its U.S. debut in Los Angeles at the Roxy Theatre in 1974 before heading to Broadway in 1975. It only lasted three previews and forty five showings despite earning one Tony nomination. It wasn’t until the 1975 film, staring Tim Curry as everyone’s favorite sweet transvestite, and re-dubbed as the Rocky Horror Picture Show that things really took off. The Rocky Horror Picture Show holds the record for the longest-running release in film history.

And to top things off this Halloween Fox plans to release a reboot! Stars include Laverne Cox as Frank N. Furter, Christina Milian, Adam Lambert and more. Check out the trailer below.

 

What Broadway show do you want to see as a movie or T.V. special?