Stop the Show!: A History of Insane Incidents and Absurd Accidents in the Theater

Overview

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, ...

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Overview

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.

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What People Are Saying

Eric Bogosian
Sometimes the best things emerge from the freakiest mishaps. Mr. Schreiber's book of anecdotes should be deposited in every dressing room both on and off Broadway. Perhaps this collection will act as a tranquilizer for the cast when, in the midst of chaos, disaster seems certain. Never say die!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560258209
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Pages: 262
  • Sales rank: 684,029
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Schreiber attended San Francisco State University, majoring in English/Creative Writing. He studied with Kay Boyle and Leonard Wolf and co-founded two theatre-comedy troupes, performing TV, stage, radio and clubs throughout the Bay Area. He co-founded the San Francisco Playwrights Center in 1980, won a residency grant from the Edward Albee Foundation and has had his work produced in Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and San Francisco. At the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as a playwright, he workshopped with Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin. His radio work includes winning an award from the National Audio Theatre Festivals in Missouri for his adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The One Who Waits. He also adapted Philip K. Dick’s Sales Pitch and Lewis Padgett’s The Proud Robot, the latter for the Nebula Award winning series 2000X. All aired on NPR. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Schreiber co-founded the New One Act Theatre Ensemble, worked as an executive, writer and producer at PBS affiliate KCET and began his careers as journalist and author. Schreiber is in his 11th year as columnist for L.A.’s oldest weekly newspaper, Entertainment Today and writes theatre criticism for Back Stage West. Schreiber is also author of the best-selling parody of the Guinness Book of World Records, Weird Wonders and Bizarre Blunders (Simon and Schuster) and the humor writing how-to, What Are You Laughing At? (Michael Wiese) He is currently Vice President of Storytech Literary Consulting, founded by Chris Vogler (The Writer’s Journey) and is Supervising Producer on the Court TV series North Mission Road, inspired by his book on the L.A. Coroner’s office, Death in Paradise (Four Walls Eight Windows). His most recent theatre credit was Multimedia Consultant on the world premiere production of What I Heard About Iraq at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2007

    Stop the show for a laugh!

    A funny and fascinating look at just how wrong things can go onstage. A must-read for anybody with an interest in theater or acting -- or just having some yuks at the expense of master and not-so-masterful thespians. Should be handed out as required reading for those who dare to tread the boards wearing less than full body armor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2006

    'Break a leg' takes on new meaning

    'Stop the Show' is a great read not only for theatre buffs, but for anyone looking for a good laugh and a glimpse behind the curtain. It overflows with Schreiber's wry anecdotes, and the theatrical mishaps he skilfully chronicles leave an indelible impression.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    What a great bunch of laughs

    This is a delightful collection of theater anecdotes and real-life stage bloopers. The stories are both amusing and interesting, collected together effectively by Shreiber. It's a book that's perfect for cocktail chatter and for bedtime reading, guaranteeing a chuckle, a smile, or a guffaw before dinner or before sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2006

    Try to stop laughing!

    This hilarious collection of theatrical anecdotes is delicious fun - for yourself, or as a gift. You don't have to be in the theater to have experienced many of these outrageous gaffes either!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2006

    A Delightful Read

    A flavorful potpourri of true anecdotes about real-life stage bloopers. It's a smooth and delightful read that makes you wish you'd been there to witness the often hilarious situations described.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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