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.

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Entry from May 17, 2019
“What does a Broadway actor do when he has the flu?"/"Eight shows a week.”

Broadway actors (and many in regional theatre) are expected to perform eight shows a week. Stars are pushed to perform even when not fully healthy.

American film actor Tom Hanks helped out at the 27th annual Easter Bonnet Competition of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in April 2013. “‘What do you do when you have a cold on Broadway? 8 shows a week’—@tomhanks” was posted on Twitter by Shoshana Feinstein on April 23, 2013. “Tom Hanks @ BC/EFA Easter Bonnetts yesterday ‘What do you do when you have a cold on Broadway?...8 SHOWS A WEEK!’ Welcome to our world Tom” was posted on Twitter by Christine Pedi on April 24, 2013.

“How bout a hand for the ones who do 8 shows a week with the flu! Am I right?!” was posted on Twitter by cheyenne•páige on January 9, 2016. “Hey shoutout to the broadway actors who do eight shows a week on their period” was posted on Twitter by jas! on July 27, 2017.

“‘What does a Broadway actor do when he has the flu?’ rasps Jeff Daniels. The two-time Emmy winner has an espresso and the bleak countenance of a man with a gruesome virus. Then he answers his own riddle: ‘Eight shows a week’” was printed in Salon on April 14, 2019. “There’s this old joke: What do you do on Broadway when you get the flu? The answer: Eight shows a week” was said by actor Jeff Daniels in Parade on May 17, 2019.

It’s not known who originally made the observation about Broadway actors.


Twitter
laurenwarholcaldwell
@edithwarhol
Replying to @broadway_buzz
@broadway_buzz Regional theatre actors DO eight shows a week.  just sayin’......
7:16 PM - 12 Jun 2011

Broadway.com
Tom Hanks and More Help Broadway Cares’ 2013 Easter Bonnet Competition Raise a Record-Breaking $4.25 Million
by Marc Snetiker • Apr 23, 2013
The 27th annual Easter Bonnet Competition, which this year featured a host of stars from Tom Hanks to Cyndi Lauper, raised a record-breaking $4,250,542 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Twitter
Shoshana Feinstein
@shoshanarf
“What do you do when you have a cold on Broadway? 8 shows a week”—@tomhanks
4:14 PM - 23 Apr 2013

Twitter
Alex Huff
@grandpianoalex
“What do you do when you have a cold on Broadway? 8 shows a week...” ---Tom Hanks
4:39 PM - 23 Apr 2013

Twitter
Christine Pedi
@ChristinePedi
Tom Hanks @ BC/EFA Easter Bonnetts yesterday “What do you do when you have a cold on Broadway?...8 SHOWS A WEEK!” Welcome to our world Tom.
10:43 PM - 24 Apr 2013

Twitter
em
@em_dawg95
“What do you do if you have a cold and you’re on broadway?”
“8 shows a week.”
9:20 PM - 9 Apr 2014

Twitter
Alyssa VolmerJohnson
@alykvj
“What do you do when you’re on Broadway and you have a cold?”
“8 shows a week” #TheatreProblems
10:54 PM - 6 May 2014

2AMtheatre
MARCIA POLAS
THE SHOW MUST GO ON: WORKING WHEN SICK
10.30.14
(...)
But “Actor” Doesn’t Equal Everyday Life
As an actor you will find a way to perform each night, even with a cold. Actually, your body will find ways to compensate in order to not just be upright, but also compelling as you take the stage when you’re under the weather. Each body may compensate a bit differently, but look back at the details of forward head posture in the previous post and you’ll find some of the same behaviors – specifically, dehydrated fascia in the chest.

Twitter
Downton Abby Zielke
@abigail_zielke
I dare a broadway actor to talk about their job for five minutes without saying “eight shows a week.”
4:41 PM - 30 Nov 2015

Twitter
cheyenne•páige
@okayannie_
How bout a hand for the ones who do 8 shows a week with the flu! Am I right?! cheyenne•páige added,
Broadway Baby
@BabyBroadway
LETS 👏🏻 ALL 👏🏻 RESPECT 👏🏻 THE 👏🏻 PEOPLE 👏🏻 WE 👏🏻 FANGIRL 👏🏻 OVER 👏🏻
6:59 PM - 9 Jan 2016

Twitter
jas!
@natalyarrostova
hey shoutout to the broadway actors who do eight shows a week on their period
10:02 PM - 27 Jul 2017

Twitter
HlwdMoviExprnce
@HlwdMoviExprnce
“6 Tools You Need to Become a Broadway Actor” Have you ever wondered what it takes to do eight shows a week on Broadway? It requires an incredible amount of discipline and work ethic to do the job right, every time. Here, stage director, teacher, casting director, and Backst…
2:54 PM - 11 Jan 2018

Twitter
nicken chuggits
@NChuggits
are broadway actors contractually obligated to use the term “eight shows a week” every time they talk about broadway
9:32 AM - 17 Jan 2019

Salon
Jeff Daniels didn’t want dad roles — so he took the ultimate dad role in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Salon talks to the stars of “To Kill a Mockingbird” about how Harper Lee’s classic got the Sorkin treatment

MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
APRIL 14, 2019 3:00PM (UTC)
“What does a Broadway actor do when he has the flu?” rasps Jeff Daniels. The two-time Emmy winner has an espresso and the bleak countenance of a man with a gruesome virus. Then he answers his own riddle: “Eight shows a week.”

Parade
Jeff Daniels on Taking the Broadway Stage as Atticus Finch: ‘I’m Old Enough to Know How Special This Is’
MAY 17, 2019 – 5:00 AM
By LAMBETH HOCHWALD @LambethHochwald
Self-Care
“I sleep. I don’t want to miss a show and I’ve already gone through 10 days of the flu and still performed. There’s this old joke: What do you do on Broadway when you get the flu? The answer: Eight shows a week.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Friday, May 17, 2019 • Permalink