Now and then a picture, news blurb, or anecdote comes into the office that is so wild or touching, we find ourselves saying, "Did that seriously just happen?" In the 10 cases below, yes, they seriously did happen, and they made our list of the some of the most random standout happenings of 2013. We've compiled a short photo gallery to refresh your memories, followed by a proper list of the most "serious" moments of the year in theater. Scroll on.
1. An entire marching band in Love's Labour's Lost
In a musical that included such absurdities as a song about a guy being in love with a cat, a tap ensemble clad with angel wings, and a complete rendition of Mr. Big's "To Be With You" (which we fully support, by the way), it was the inclusion of a full high school marching band — bused in nightly to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park from an actual high school in New Jersey — that stood out. Mainly because they were brought onstage to play only a single chorus in a single song. Go Middies!
2. Ghost Skipper
Remember when the ghost of the always-mentioned-but-never-seen "Skipper" was actually a character in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? Probably not, because it only lasted for two weeks of previews in Rob Ashford's Southern Gothic revival of Tennessee Williams' classic drama. Once this shirtless role was eliminated, actor Jordan Dean was out of a job, but he was probably better off.
3. Shia LaBeouf
The first few days of rehearsals for the Broadway premiere of Lyle Kessler's Orphans were fraught with danger. Mostly to doors. Broadway rarely gets a taste of Hollywood drama, which is perhaps why the relatively tame tiff between Shia LaBeouf, Alec Baldwin, Daniel Sullivan, and an unassuming entranceway became headline news. Granted, the e-mail-leaking was actually as riveting as his audition video.
4. Brynn O'Malley reveals Tony Danza's big secret
He can probably kill someone with his bare hands.
5. So much Shakespeare
Granted, we love the guy, but we never expected him to become this season's hottest Broadway playwright (397 years after his death). With three revivals of Macbeth (two on Broadway and one off), two revivals of Romeo and Juliet (at the exact same time!), a double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III, a four-actor Hamlet, and many others that we're probably forgetting, this dude is more in-your-face than a Kardashian.
6. Rain sues Let It Be
2013 was the year that one Beatles cover band sued another Beatles cover band for stealing the Broadway spotlight. We'd like to imagine this as a West Side Story-style dance battle, with fake John Lennon pirouetting down 44th Street and grand-jeté-ing in rival fake Ringo's face. Because at the end of the day, there can be only one.
7. Orlando Bloom's motorcycle
"Why even do a contemporary take on Shakespeare if you're not gonna give Romeo a motorcycle," thought no one ever (well, maybe since Baz Luhrmann) until they saw Orlando Bloom zoom onstage in a leather jacket and blue jeans. The teen heartthrob/dad rode out on a black-hot bike to the delight of women and Lord of the Rings fans in the audience, though it disappointingly disappeared after the first scene, to the chagrin of all.
8. Constantine Maroulis duetting with a projection of himself in Jekyll & Hyde
Is the idea of Constantine Maroulis singing alongside a projection of himself a step up or a step down from the Hasselhoff hair flip? You be the judge.
9. Broadway fortune cookie truisms
2013 was the year of philosophizing Broadway musicals. Case in point: "Even if you're little, you can do a lot," to inspire the vertically challenged youngsters in the audience at Matilda. "You can change the world if you change your mind," to the viewers of Kinky Boots who believe that clothes make the person. And our particular favorite, "If you want something, keep your hands on it," a mantra that applies even if you're not in a stamina competition like Hands on a Hardbody.
10. Cabaret non-casting
Casting news is always exciting. You know what gets people even more worked up? The announcement of celebrities not being cast in Broadway shows. For example, earlier this year, Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway and delightful Hollywood ginger Emma Stone were announced NOT to be starring in Roundabout Theatre Company's remounting of Cabaret. The role was eventually filled by Hathaway's Brokeback Mountain costar, Michelle Williams, though we all miss the anticipation involved in guessing which celebrity was not to be cast next.