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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Trouble Right Here in River City? This Theatre Has a Slow Gas Leak

by Rachel Mans McKenny. @rachelmansmckenny.



CHANDLER, Ariz. -  Attendees of the Chandler City Players production of The Music Man were surprised by more than the choreography when it was discovered that the auditorium had a slow gas leak.


“My son could never maintain the lisp before,” noted Maralynn Choi, mother of the child portraying Winthrop Paroo, who admitted to scheduling a numbing dental procedure for her son before callbacks. “He could sing and dance, but the lisp would go in and out. That night? He was magnificent, unfortunately.”


Choi’s son has fully recovered, as have the other cast members and attendees. Still, many are questioning why it took the entire first act for the gas leak to be discovered.


“At first I thought the hissing sound was a new train sound effect for the opening scene,” stated Dean Fuller, still wearing the unwashed three piece plaid suit stolen from the costume shop. “It might have smelled like rotten eggs in there, but I thought it was our best show yet. We were all game for moving forward, for the art. For the good of the town. Why are there cartoon birds in here?”


Ruth Wise, long-time artistic director of the Chandler City Players, made the announcement at intermission that the theater needed to be evacuated.


“To try to go on with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide would be more than just Iowa Stubborn,” Wise said of certain cast member’s pleas to let the show go on. “The entire second row was asleep. A woman fainted in the aisle. Someone was actually claiming to hear bells on the hills.”


Local billiard parlor owner and part-time plumber, Louie Schuster, happened to be in the parking lot as the show let out. It was rumored that he offered evacuating audience members half-off Bevo and cubebs for the rest of the evening, though it might have been an effect of the gas.

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