Wardrobe malfunction!

It was one of those moments when you really hope that nobody in the audience is looking your way.  If I’m lucky, all eyes were centre stage gazing adoringly at Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.  In the final few seconds of last night’s show, you see, I had a serious wardrobe malfunction.

The Genie costume took a little bit of getting used to for me, as it exposes more flesh than I am accustomed to exposing and certainly could not be worn by a lady librarian.  The main items are some baggy trousers, a hat, two cuffs and a diamond-shaped thing that covers my shoulders and bits of my chest and back, attaching to the front and back of the trousers via two of the diamond’s points.  It was intimidating at first (and has required the use of fake tan to avoid the make-up procedure taking several days), but I have become accustomed to it and can now say that it is a great costume.  When it behaves itself, that is.

Last night, happily singing and dancing my way though the big finale song, I reached a moment when the principals are all on a raised platform while the dancers do crazy stuff below us and realised that my costume was coming adrift.  It is held together at the front by two hooks and eyes and a popper.  The popper had come undone and I hastily reaffixed it during the next bout of hectic freestyle movement, making sure that my back was to the audience.  All was well, or so I thought.

Perhaps my next few movements (we were very near the end) were more violent than usual.  Perhaps something was in the air (others had costume issues as well).  Who knows.  But in the final couple of bars, we all take a final bow.  As we did so, the hat decided to make its presence known and I struggled to keep it on.  We stood up, and I felt pleased with myself for not losing it, but worse was to come.  On the final beat of the music we all stretch an arm up high and grin madly.  I stretched, and all three fastenings came undone as my costume made a bid for freedom.  I had to grab hold as quickly as possible to prevent the diamond flying too far up and the trousers falling down (they are only figure-hugging near the ankles) and as the lights went out, the hat finally decided enough was enough – it did not want to be on my head for another second.  Blackout, front cloth in and…laughter.  Trying to hold my errant costume together, I could not help but laugh.  I had no idea if the audience had noticed (if they had, they’d have gained a very brief glimpse of a lot more Genie chest than they were accustomed to), or if the director had noticed.  At the beginning of the run, I’d have been mortified and horribly embarrassed, but nine performances in, it just struck me as hilarious.  How a week can change your point of view!

  1. *chortle*

  2. Giggle 🙂

  3. Definitely a “wish I had been there” moment. 🙂

  4. Update: It happened again two performances later. Only one performance left – will the costume manage it a third time? Everyone is mystified about how it manages it!

  5. I learned (learnt? – librarian assistance on past tense of “learn” please) a long time ago during the long period in which I more or less Gilbert-and-Sullivaned for England (up to four shows a year for over 15 years – dahling) that there’s only one thing an audience likes more than something going wrong on stage – and thats watching the actor try and get out of it. Its why I made a habit of learning ENTIRE scenes (their lines as well as mine) just in case of a bad case of drying – and very useful it turned out to be on many occasions to.

  6. The past tense of learn can be either learned or learnt. British English prefers learnt and American English prefers learned, but they are both acceptable.

    It is both exciting and terrifying to be on stage when someone dries. Getting things back on track is a great skill, paricularly since if there’s a big pause, the audience will generally assume that the next person to speak is the one that forgot their lines, which isn’t always true.

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