One thing I love about live performance is the spontaneity. Even when you're in a situation where the show is blocked and the lines are memorized, there are glitches. When you are recording in the studio or filming a movie, you have the luxury of going through multiple takes until you get it right…not so with live performance. There are no do overs. Last night was a case in point, and it was also a perfect example of professionalism and quick thinking on the part of Act3 talented performers.
For one of the numbers, they decided to go with a pre-recorded track instead of the orchestra. (I have no idea why.) It was a solo number for the character "Angel." (Check out the YouTube clip from the movie version.) About a third of the way into the song, the recorded track cut out, and Angel was left singing a cappella. Literally not missing a beat, the other onstage characters started clapping and beat boxing, and then the orchestra joined in, improvising an accompaniment.
After the show, it was decided that the orchestra would be backing the singer, and we wouldn't use the recorded track again. (This was a perfect example of why live performers, mistakes and all, are superior to backing tracks.) Except for the keyboard, all the other parts are marked tacet (which means don't play), so today's assignment was to listen to the track at home and come up with a part to play. Tonight, we'll meet early to rehearse the number. I'm 100% sure that we'll sound great come showtime.