The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked at a small summer stock theatre. There are many stories form that summer, but this is the tragic tale of the gold lamé.
The first show we did that summer was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In the show one of the characters visits a brothel, and each of the courtesans does a little dance for him. I was the courtesan Panacea, clad in a gold lamé bra, genie pants, and a grape-covered headdress. As part of my dance section I would pull grapes from between my breasts and feed them to the lead. In order for the grapes to be cool and refreshing for him, seconds before I ran on stage, our male wardrobe mistress would shove frozen grapes into my cleavage. For the comfort of the lead I danced with ice cold boobs every night.
Now, this particular theatre was a theatre in the round, so we would enter and exit the stage through the audience. Forum has a chase scene in it, and my job was to stand on the red X backstage and wait to be thrown over some big man’s shoulder so he could run across the stage while I kicked and screamed. I would then be deposited onto another red X and wait for some other sweaty man to carry me away (trust me, it’s not as glamorous as you’d imagine).
One fateful day I was standing on my red X in my gold lamé bra. When I was tossed over the first sweaty shoulder I heard a strange pop. I kicked and screamed across the stage, and when I was put down on my second red X I reached around to the back of my bra to feel what damage had been done.
This was my fateful mistake. As the second man lifted me, my arm was still twisted strangely behind my back. That was just enough pressure to rip the back of my bra apart,
The world seemed to slip into slow motion. Centerstage my bra slid from my arms and fell to the floor leaving me bare breasted in the spotlight. I clung to the waist of my carrier until he set me down on my next red “X” in the lobby of the theatre. He had noticed nothing. The next man ran up and tried to carry me on stage, but I ran from him clutching my boobs and screaming “I have no top!” as he tried desperately to heave me struggling over his shoulder.
Finally, he ran onstage without me, and I was left alone and topless in the lobby. The only way back to the dressing rooms was to cross outside past the parking lot.
I ran as fast as I could, hoping not to give an elderly patron a heart attack. When I got to the dressing room, the stage manager tried to yell at me for missing an entrance while a chorus boy, laughing his face off of course, held out my lamé bra asking if I had lost something.
I had to stand in shame as the wardrobe mistress stitched me back into my top. And the worst part is, there was a summer camp in the front row. I sure gave those boys an education.