For every opening night in a new city on this South American tour I was a stage manager for, the kitchen would always prepare a huge opening night feast with local delicacies.
This particular opening night dinner was filled with wonderful shellfish and an amazing array of seafood. Dinner was served at 5pm to give people enough time to eat and then get ready for the performance at 8pm. If the cast performed in the 2nd half then most of them would eat prior to the show. Those performing in the 1st half would wait till intermission or after the show to have their dinner.
At 8pm the show begins and things are going as planned. At the end of the first act a few people were complaining that they were not feeling very well. A few people were going back and forth to the restroom. As the second act starts a couple of people missed separate walk on cues as they were in the rest room. A young woman who is the 2nd to last act of the show, is not really warming up, just looking nervous. I asked her if she was okay. She said she wasn’t feeling very well. She went to the restroom and then came back and said she was fine. She continues to warm up. As the act prior to hers goes on she heads up to take her place in the 2nd level, as she is an aerial artist. The final act of the show is starting to warm up at this point. I hear the transition music from the 3rd to last act into our female aerial act and as I receive the radio call that our lady has left the 2nd level, just as she runs by me through the backstage yelling for wardrobe to help her out of her costume on her way to the bathroom.
Meanwhile- onstage- her music is playing as the 5 other girls that do the transition into her act are still there.
The band vamps… While I page all 8 of the members of the final act take their places stage left….
Luckily they had seen our lady run out and started to head to the stage….
It was a case of food poisoning for a few of our cast and crew and with the next few shows being a bit thin to say the least.