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Friday Morning Roundup
by Stephen Becker 11 Feb 2011

Today in the roundup: Mickey Mouse for sale, Tovah on Betty and what happens when things go wrong on stage?


MOOLAH FOR MICKEY: The most valuable animation cel in existence is about to go on sale in Dallas. Heritage Auction Galleries is auctioning off “The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art,” which was drawn by Walt Disney in 1935 and features Mickey. “This cel is, in many ways, the ultimate Mickey Mouse item a collector could ever hope to acquire,” Heritage’s Barry Sandoval says. And you can have it for $100,000 or so.

QUOTABLE: “I’ve always had a thing for Betty. If you’re a New Yorker and attend the theater, Betty Buckley is an icon. I’ve never worked with this leading lady, so it’s great. Also, I tend to do shows that are one-person shows so I can have more control of my life, so I could bring up two children and keep a marriage sane, which I’m proud to say I’ve been doing. So it’s a pleasure to be in play with other people.”

– Tovah Feldshuh, on starring in the Dallas Theater Center’s Arsenic and Old Lace with Betty Buckley. Read the rest of the interview, including what Buckley thinks of working with Feldshuh, at theaterjones.com.

FLYING WITHOUT A NET: How do you react when you’re watching a play and something goes wrong on stage? Surely we’ve all seen a performance where an actor has forgotten his lines or a piece of equipment didn’t do its job. That’s the subject of a recent post by New York Times Theater Critic Ben Brantley. I know we’ve got a lot of theater types who visit Art&Seek, so I’ll throw the question out there – what’s the biggest mishap you’ve ever seen? (And bonus – what’s the biggest mishap you’ve ever been a part of?)

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  • Kevin Kunreuther

    I was in a Tennessee Williams one act play (Quare Medicine). I played a slow moving wizened old coot. Near end of play one night, I realized I had forgotten my prop wallet and panicked. When the moment came for me to get money from wallet, I made some excuse about getting inside house to git mah wallet and shuffled hurriedly offstage stage to dressing room, grabbed wallet and zoomed back making fuss. It got a bigger laugh than anything else.

    In a production of Tom Jones, I played an old doctor, and wouldn’t you know it, the prop medical bag wouldn’t open up before I was to examine a patient, so I frustratingly exclaimed “Sod it!”, which got a huge laugh, and I conducted the examination without medical props – no one in audience any wiser, they thought it was part of script.

    A favorite internet phenom is Garfield minus Garfield, where the title character is removed from the strip. But did you know back in 18th Century there was a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – without Hamlet! The lead was unavailable to play, so his understudy was summoned, a young boy who had never walked the boards before. Right before curtain, the young actor felt unwell and was unable to perform. For financial reasons, the manager and cast and crew decided to go on with show, the manager went before audience and apologized to audience that they would have to suffer a performance of Hamlet that night without a Hamlet. There was not one refund demanded. Apparently, this happened enough in English theater back then, that audiences took it in stride.