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Classical 101

On Stage Jokes

Have you ever been watching a performance and noticed knowing glances being exchanged by performers?  Maybe a quick glance between musicians, or a sudden smile by one of the actors or dancers which seems out of place? You might well have witnessed something most audiences never completely understand...the inside joke onstage. Most of us probably don't even see it.  I enjoy watching the faces of the musicians as they perform, which means that I occasionally spot something.  Did someone miss an entrance?  Toss in something extra?  Nail a particularly difficult passage?  Hard to say. When something catches my attention, I sometimes have the chance to ask about it.  Sometimes I get an answer, sometimes a tap dance. City Ballet in New York and the Metropolitan Opera have pulled back the curtain just a bit and allowed us a little glimpse behind the scenes. Read At City Ballet and Elsewhere, In Jokes Take the Stage (NY Times)