Stop the Show! by Brad Schreiber
Stop the Show! A History of Insane Incidents and Absurd Accidents in the Theater by Brad Schreiber
Stop the Show! is the first book to assemble humorous, frightening and bizarre anecdotes about the history of all that went wrong during live theatrical productions in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It is the publishing equivalent of TV bloopers for the legitimate stage.
This book includes stories from top directors, actors, playwrights and technicians from New York, Los Angeles, and points in between, to the United Kingdom, from the 19th century to today. There are stories about missed entrances and exits, onstage unscripted fights between performers, improvised lines, accidental pratfalls, falling scenery, and costume, lighting and makeup screwups. The backstage provides sordid tales of practical jokes, treachery, misplaced props, wild arguments, and generally the kinds of things Michael Frayn created for his farce about a theatrical disaster, Noises Off.
This book doesn't leave out the theatergoers either, who snore, fight with each other, talk back to the performers, search for their seats, become suddenly ill, eat, drink, make merry, and are yelled at by the performers--all of which sometimes prompts the show to stop, even though we've always been told it must go on.