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I stumbled upon this program in the archive of Chicago Public Radio's This American Life; it made me laugh out loud (I think there was a thread once on on-stage disasters; perhaps a canny moderator can move this there--I couldn't find it). Description from the website:

61: Fiasco!

Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses. This week's show is a philosophical inquiry in the nature of fiascos — perhaps the first ever.

Act One. Opening Night.

Writer and TAL contributing editor Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook's hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved. (23 minutes)

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Act I -- the Peter Pan production -- is fascinating. There's something like Greek tragedy in this collision of directorial ambition and technical incompetence. The disasters kept rolling in like waves on a beach.

Ray, I also seem to remember an old thread on something like this. I went back a couple of years in the Everything Else Ballet forum, but found only a "Nasty Falls Onstage" thread -- definitely NOT funny.

Does anyone have an ON-STAGE FIASCO story, ballet or otherwise? If so, please share it with us here.

(We can always move this to another forum if needed.)

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