The standby's always go on during vacations and sometimes do matinee performances. The understudy would most likely go on if it was just one or two performances, due to illness. With demanding lead roles in shows like "Wicked," it helps prevent burnout and vocal stress to not have to do all 8 performances a week. I'm pretty certain that the role of standby is a fairly new thing.
Posted on May 23, 2008, 2:13 PM from IP address 188.8.131.52