This is supposed to have
happened 8 or 10 years ago to Gavroche involving either the traveling
of Les MisÚrables or a regional production.
The play was being performed in a SMALL theater -- almost too small to
put on Les MisÚrables. Instead of having an
orchestra pit in front of the stage, the front row was right in front of
the stage....an actor was very very close to the audience. (Keep in mind
that the stage is small...it puts the audience in the front row "in
range" for any accidents)
Imagine you are the young actor playing Gavroche. He was starting
the death scene. He apparently slipped the strap on the bag off his
neck, but was just carrying the ammunition pouch in his hand.
He was going to jump the last couple of feet from the
barricade to the stage. As he jumped, he felt a tug on his
trousers a part of the barricade had snagged the right pocket of his
trousers. He was pulled off balance and fell flat
on his face. When he fell, he lost his grip on the ammunition bag
he was carrying, and the bag went flying out of his hand.
The audience, afraid he might have been hurt, gasped.
He got up quickly and started singing his Death scene song "Little
People". When he stood up, the audience breathed a sigh of relief
that he was not hurt, then burst out laughing. Reason: his
trousers was ripped for 3 or 4 inches along the right seam, and the
audience was seeing underwear.
His second problem was he did not see the ammunition bag anywhere......
You can imagine poor Gavroche, crawling around on the stage, holding his
torn pants together with one hand, dying, singing "Little
People", and all the time looking about for that missing ammunition
He spotted the bag -- it was now in the lap of a little old lady on the
front row. Too late to do anything about it he died, without the
ammunition bag, but still holding onto his torn trousers. The
poor lady on the front row, meanwhile, is trying to decide what to do
with the bag. It is like having a hot potato in her lap.
She did not know if it might be very important later in the play.
It might be an absolutely essential prop to finish the play.
She decided she better toss it back.
Have you ever seen a really elderly woman try to throw something? She
had a lousy aim. She hit the "dead" Gavroche on his head
with the pouch. The "dead" Gavroche was surprised and
jumped up on all fours to see what had hit him, losing his grip on his
torn seam, and flashing the audience with underwear again.
The audience roared with laughter again. Even
Gavroche burst out laughing, and laughed so hard he could not be
The actors in back of the barricade were supposed (of course) to be
acting upset over the death of Gavroche but they were all doubled up
with laughter instead.....
(I understand that the lady in question was very apologetic after the
This Funny story could not be
confirmed nor denied...
Click here to read the
reply letter from THE ANONYMOUS GAVROCHE