Anyone who saw Patti LuPone's Gypsy at City Center last summer knows she brought the house down.But--scarily--that seemed to literally happen Monday night at first preview.
Toward the end of the show, as Ms. LuPone’s Mama Rose was about to launch into her show-stopping number, there was a crash in the balcony. A huge metal plate, about 30 inches in diameter and part of the ventilation system, came crashing down from the ceiling. It hit a young woman in the head and ricocheted into the back of my friend’s neck before rolling into my seat.
Confused, we looked up and saw the hole in the ceiling. The young woman held her head and sobbed and quickly fell into hysterics. My friend was startled, but luckily had been wearing her coat, which cushioned the blow to her neck.
Thankfully, both women escaped without serious injury.But still...holy shit!
I'm surprised this wasn't a bigger story, and that it took me over a day to catch up with it--on a NYTimes web-only feature, their "Well" blog, which is in the "Health" section! And the post is there just because the writer happened to be at the performance.
If the grand St. James theatre is falling apart, what about all the others? A house manager is quoted in the webpost, but just to the effect of "the theater is still trying to determine what happened, and the show will go on tonight as planned."
How about asking the owners at the Jujamcyn Organization how they let the safety conditions of their building lapse so badly?
Or should we take comfort that the falling piece was from the more modern ventilation system, not the original 1927 infrastructure itself.