You Think a Cell Phone Going Off in the Middle of a Performance is Bad?

Paul Rudd and Kate Arrington in “Grace”.

“As an actor, being able to move people to tears or to laughter is amazing — but moving them to puking is a whole different league.” – Paul Rudd

Next time you’re in a theatre and a cell phone goes off,  remember… it could be worse.

Such was the case Wednesday night when an audience member vomited over the mezzanine and on to people sitting below in the orchestra section during a Broadway performance of Grace, starring Paul RuddEd AsnerMichael Shannon and Kate Arrington.
An elderly man became sick during the evening’s performance, leaned over the edge of the balcony and hurled during the middle of the show, causing a ruckus in the audience and noticeably affecting the actors on stage.

Theatergoer Lori Schwab, who was in the audience, gave this account of the incident: “I was at the Cort Theater seeing the play “Grace”. In the middle of the show there was quite the ruckus. After hearing a loud gasp several people got up and left the theater, followed by several more. During all of this the actors carried on as best they could. At the end of the show, the cast came out for curtain calls, and just before making their call for $$ for Actors Equity fights Aids fund, Paul Rudd told us that someone in the balcony had vomited onto those in the orchestra.”

New York Magazine‘s Daily Intel also had a tipster in the audience, who noted,  that it all started when the man in question — who appeared to be elderly — passed out. He “fell forward so that he was leaning/hanging over the balcony. Then 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 tipster also said that the actors all kept their composure on stage and finished the show without stopping. It was only after curtain call that Rudd addressed the situation to the audience.

Paul Rudd

“At the end of the show, they all made jokes about it, Paul Rudd saying how as an actor, being able to move people to tears or to laughter is amazing — but moving them to puking is a whole different league,” writes the Daily Intel tipster. “Then after the show, at the stage door, the actors said how they almost stopped the show because they didn’t know the severity of the situation.”

Audience members called 911, but the vomiting suspect returned to his seat, presumably to make sure he caught the end of the play.

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