A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 06, 2022
“Never read the last line of a play at a rehearsal” (theatre superstition)

Entry in progress—BP

Toby Simkin
Theatre Superstition
The Last Line

It has been considered bad luck to say the final line of a show before it opens. Therefore, many rehearsals skip the final line of the play, or invite a few family, friends, and reviewers to see the dress rehearsals.

3 March 1882, The State (London, UK), “Stage Superstitions,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Let us see what some of our particular superstitions are:—It is superstitiously unlucky to sing the lovely strains of Lock’s music to Macbeth or the National Anthem except at rehearsal or performance. It is ditto to speak the last line of a tag at rehearsal; to whistle in a dressing-room, unless every one in the room immediately whistles too, &c., &c., &c.

News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
BY LESLIE MIZELL Special to the News & Record Dec 11, 2002 Updated Jan 26, 2015
Rehearsals: Supposedly, a bad dress rehearsal indicates a good opening night. This superstition has fairly obvious origins in a director or producer trying to boost morale and quell anxious nerves in his actors before a performance. Likewise, some think it’s bad luck ever to say a play’s final lines in rehearsal: Its first time in its entirety should be in front of an audience.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Tuesday, December 06, 2022 • Permalink