The full house erupted with possible solutions. One patron suggested that Rose herself read the role, script in hand, or have one of the other performers double the part. Another — perhaps knowing the theatergoing community a bit too well — asked if there was an actress in the house who could finish out the second act. No one wanted to leave, especially not after a very enjoyable 90-minute first half.
Rose was adamant. After some grumbling, most patrons left, though many continued to voice their displeasure while leaving contact information to reschedule tickets.
I don't blame them for their anger; at the same time, I can't fault Mostek for bowing out. Migraine sufferers can barely tolerate the LED of an alarm clock, let alone the harsh glare of stage lighting. Any attempt at performing by her would have pleased no one.
But I can fault Plays and Players for not drafting a contingency plan. Actor Eric Wunsch (who plays Tristan Tzara) informed me that during one of the technical rehearsals, he passed a kidney stone and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where a doctor told him he might pass another during the run of the show. Would they shutter that show, too?
And why couldn't Kaki Burns, who plays Gwendolyn, double Mostek's role, as the two never appear on stage simultaneously — especially since, Burns informed me, this was the plan for the next day's matinee if Mostek again could not perform?
Stopping the show left no one satisfied — not the two couples from out of town who can't return (and were denied a refund), or the patrons who came specifically to celebrate Bloomsday by seeing a play about James Joyce. The remainder of the audience must now spend another evening — paying babysitters, finding parking, etc. — to catch the second act of a show that could, and should have continued. Mostek did perform in the play's following production Sunday.