Imagine this: you’re sitting in a dark theatre, deeply enveloped in a psychological drama that examines faith and love in a cynical modern America. The play, full of Hollywood heavyweights, is chugging along with an intensely quiet scene played down center, near the audience. In one of the most delicate moments of the show – just as one very damaged character begins to reveal his innermost thoughts on how the Universe works – out of nowhere, vomit pours from the heavens and drenches you in all its foul, putrid, disgusting grossness.
Yep, my children! That is the drama that unfolded in the audience at last night’s performance of “Grace,” playing at the Cort Theatre on the Broadway. And I – NewNowNext’s resident show queen – was there to experience the mega-awkwardness of it all. One of my besties scored us rush tickets, so I was seated on the front row, which means I was spared the barf bath and any knowledge of exactly what was happening in the moment. From what I remember (it all happened very fast) a big thud was followed by a big ruckus. My friend dug her nails into my knee as we sunk into our seats. Having both been professional performers in our lives and being seated five feet from the actors trying to muddle through a really concentrated scene over a chorus of, “Turn him over! Is he breathing?! Call the fire department!” was, to quote my gal pal, “SUPER TINGLY!” I do have to admit, though, that hearing all that hub-bub made me wonder why the show wasn’t stopped. If someone is passed out and possibly not breathing, it’s time to press pause on the little skit that is happening on stage.
At any rate, it wasn’t until after the show, when Paul Rudd gave the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids donation speech that we figured out what had happened, as the ever charming Rudd made a joke about how actors love to make folks laugh and cry, but making someone vomit was really special. Then, as we exited the theatre, we were overwhelmed with the smell of puke. We finally got all of the details from an excited audience member who was sitting behind the folks that got slimed. He said that apparently the perpetrator was wasted (obviously) and several rows of folks had to evacuate as the stench was just too much to handle.
And you thought that old lady slowly unwrapping a cough drop was annoying!
On a side note: despite mediocre reviews and lukewarm word of mouth, I thought this show was really quite good. The play is a bit odd, but all the actors really delivered – kudos to them for making it through a NIGHTMARE situation. I was thoroughly entertained and moved. Check it out if you can. Just make sure to sit in the balcony!