Believe it or not, there have been some truly exciting moments in theater during the past month, albeit unintentionally. Theater blogger What’s Good/What Blows alerted readers to this NY Post interview with two stars of the Broadway hit Spring Awakening. It seems the show’s sizzling sex scene has provoked audiences in more ways than one. Actor Jonathan Groff divulged that "some guy was kicked out of the mezzanine for masturbating.” Since Spring Awakening also seats some audience members up on stage, we think the producers may want to get out ahead of this thing and invest in some Gallagher-esque ponchos for the first few rows. (Read about one theatergoer’s onstage experience here.)
And Classic Stage Company’s not-so-well-received A Spanish Play got a shot of adrenaline when star Zoe Caldwell backed out of the February 13th performance following “a spill”. Since the theater company employs no understudies, it fell to Jesus himself – John Turturro, who directed the production – to fill in for Caldwell. As the Playbill article pointed out, this led to some mind-bending on-stage dynamics as Turturro portrayed the mother of a character played by his real-life wife Katherine Borowitz, who was in turn compelled to keep a straight face while her husband spent the play canoodling with Larry Pine. (There were no reported outbreaks of audience onanism at that performance.)
A third bit of thrilling show-biz news broke this week when it was announced that actor James Urbaniak (Thom Pain, Henry Fool), who lends his voice to the Adult Swim program The Venture Brothers, will be appearing live and in person at the upcoming New York Comic Convention. The press release puts it in perspective: "The fact that James Urbaniak is making the effort to leave his apartment is terrific," notes Skippy Chodphur, Mr. Urbaniak's publicist. "I am told that he may even shave for this appearance." Adds Chodphur: "The whole point of New York Comic-Con is not just to give fans a chance to hear celebrities 'talk' or 'give a speech' but to give them an opportunity to actually share the same physical space as these Gods among men. Urbaniak honors us with his mighty presence."