Mishap at Olney

August 30, 2008

No, not Rabbit Hole itself. 

Ron and I went to see the play last night and it was spectacular on all fronts — script, acting, directing, production.

However, as the show was winding down, in a tender and quiet moment, the fire alarm in the theater went off.  And the actors tried to choke out the next two lines and keep the mood, but it was all but impossible. 

And by the way, you know that first ammendment argument about the irresponsibility about yelling “fire” in a crowded theater?  Trust me, having now had the experience, it’s not that big a deal.  I think a majority of the crowd last night at Olney was weighing the effort to unfold, refold, and re-unfold their walkers again against the possibility of death by asphyxiation and asphyxiation was winning.  But I digress…

When we were outside during the unexpected intermission I said to Ron, “you know, the play is probably about 4 lines from the end.  We could take off now,a nd not miss much.  But I want to see the end of this story.  Not the story of Rabbit Hole, but the story of seeing Rabbit Hole.”

Anyway, after the audience re-assembled in the theater after a 10-ish minute delay, the wonderful and valiant Paul Morella and Deborah Hazlett re-took the stage to applause.  They restarted a few lines before the point where they were interrupted.  They got to the point of the interruption and then said the next two lines.  And then the play was over.

OK, I was wrong by 2 lines.

(By the way, I’ve been present for two other notable DC theater mishaps — the matinee of 3Penny Opera with Sting where the curtain failed, and the matinee of Merrily We Roll Along at Arena where the show had to be stopped for 20 minutes before the final scene of the first act for set problems.)


OK, I was two lines off.