Sour, I believe that in the theater, there's a sort of superstition that if things go too well in rehearsal, disaster will occur when the audience is there. Some just aren't happy if something doesn't go wrong - though it can play havoc with everyone's blood pressure.
Many, many, many years ago, I had a minor part (the Grand Dutchess Olga Katrina) in "You Can't Take It With You," which was a pretty bold undertaking for that group. As our performance dates approached, rehearsals ran long, and we all were getting pretty tense. One day, there was one scene that we just couldn't seem to get through. In it, one of the other characters, Kolenkhov, gives this elaborate introduction, the Grand Dutchess makes a suitably grand entrance, there's some dialog between her and the others, and she exits the other side of the stage; more dialog, etc. One or another of us kept blowing lines, and we'd get so tangled up the drama coach would have us go back to the Grand Dutchess's entrance. Hard things were said; I saw one of the other girls crying. Something had to give.
As I stood in the wings waiting for my entrance for what seemed like the 50th time, I heard Kolenkhov give his introduction through clenched teeth. When he ground out " . . . . the Grand Dutchess Olga Katrina!" I waited for a few seconds (long enough for everyone to wonder if I had somehow missed my cue), then wandered sheepishly onto the stage, looking around in puzzlement. Instead of regally informing the group that, "I am very happy to be here," I looked "Grandpa" in the eye, gave him a weak smile, and said, "hi?"
He fell out. He literally curled forward out of his armchair and lay on the floor, laughing. The drama teacher draped herself over the back of the seat in front of her and laughed so hard she couldn't speak. Most of the cast were wiping tears, this time of laughter.
Of course, once we finally pulled ourselves together, Kolenkhov had to give his speech yet again (grinning, this time), but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do - I still think that was the best bit of acting I ever did.
I salute the Princess for taking it upon herself to fix (not just react to) the problem; and I hope things go smoothly once the audience is there (breaking legs, and all that).
Edited by Bunnylady - 5/2/16 at 8:05am