• Broadway Beat

“Into The Woods” Stage Manager Has Panic Attack After Mid-Show Applause Adds 45 Minutes to Run-Time

by Fiona Gorry-Hines. @cries_at_parties (Instagram/TikTok). @fionagorryhinez (Twitter).

NEW YORK, NY - Broadway stage manager Gillian Douglas required medical attention after last night’s Into The Woods performance where the audience’s overly enthusiastic responses added nearly an hour to the show’s theoretical runtime.


“Nobody is a bigger fan of the show than me,” Douglas clarified in between breaths into a paper bag. “But four minutes of applause for a quick change is just too much. They think we want the show to go on all night. I live in Bushwick. Do you know what it’s like to try to get home on the J after 11pm on a weeknight?!”


Stagehand Jeremy Eckhart called for help when he heard Douglas hyperventilating over the headset.


“There are places where we expect a long applause. We call the two-minute period of cheering between Stephanie J. Block singing ‘justifies’ and ‘the beans’ ‘first intermission’ because we have enough time to go to the restroom,” explained Eckhart, canceling post-show plans for the eight time this week. “But last night Milky White got a standing ovation for this one, very cute, inquisitive head tilt and people started mooing. I was about to make a Rent joke when I noticed Gillian was breathing funny.”


Many audience members were irritated at having missed last call at Sardi’s, and some of the youngest and oldest attendees even missed their bedtimes. Tucker Redding, a local 15-year-old, sees the show three times a week and always waits at the stage door.


“I didn’t get a single autograph,” the teen pouted as he pulled the new $70 hoodie he purchased as consolation over a matching tee with the show’s minimalist sans-serif logo. “But I have to be home by 2am or my mom gets worried.”


The production team is intent on sorting this problem out swiftly and is even considering making the audience wear mittens to muffle the applause. But given the proven difficulty of getting audiences to wear anything, even for their own good, they’re looking for other ideas. In the meantime, they’ve hired a meditation coach to help Douglas breathe her way through the inevitable three-minute interruption when Little Red takes her tenth sticky bun.