Last night's performance of "Grace," a new Broadway play starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon, was memorable, surprising and dramatic for all the wrong reasons. An audience member slowly leaned over from where he sat in the mezzanine. He then vomited over the balcony, directly onto the prime orchestra section below.
New York Magazines's Daily Intel has what's currently the definitive eyewitness account, given by theatergoer Gabe Alfassy, seated near the orchestra (Alfassy says he turned and saw the whole thing).
"As people were trying to get him back up and into his seat, he threw up all over the people below him in the orchestra and then collapsed on the floor of the balcony. A group of about twenty formed around where he was, and everyone in the theater was looking back at the commotion ... The stench of the vomit was a little overwhelming, and many people were noticeably uncomfortable, and of course everyone who was vomited on left."
The Intel source countered a speculation by a Cort Theater press representative that the theatergoer was drunk. He says the man was simply elderly. (Then there's the commenter suggestion that the patron was just another happy customer of Guy Fieri's new restaurant). Another eyewitness tells Gothamist the actors held it together as best they could, considering the circumstances.
Scroll through our slideshow below of more unexpected/awful theater hijinks, and let us know if you've got any more details on the "Grace" episode in the comments.
In January 2012, New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert fulfilled a dream everyone's had at some point or another. He stopped a Gustav Mahler concert mid-note to chastise an audience member whose iPhone's marimba ring kept going off. The man <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/nyregion/ringing-finally-stopped-but-concertgoers-alarm-persists.html">later told the New York Times</a> that he "hadn't slept for two days" out of shame.
In 2011, Slovak violist Lukas Kmit reacted to a cell phone interrupting his concert at a synagogue in Slovakia<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/slovakia/9032434/Violist-mimics-phone-ringtone-in-protest-at-interruption.html"> by playing the Nokia ringtone on the spot</a>, on his instrument.
In 2010, a Christmas nativity play in West Columbia, South Carolina.was interrupted when <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339557/Nativity-play-interrupted-REAL-birth-goat-borrowed-local-farm-goes-labour-barn.html">one of the goats in the manger went into labor</a>, in front of an audience of hundreds.
Christopher Tierney, a stunt performer in the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/20/performer-is-injured-during-spider-man-performance/">sustained broken ribs and multiple injuries</a> after falling 30 feet during an evening performance when a line holding him snapped.