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February 23, 1996|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Real-Life Diva Collapse: Three-time Tony-winning actress Zoe Caldwell was briefly hospitalized in New York Wednesday night after she collapsed and was unable to complete a performance of "Master Class" on Broadway. Thursday's performance was canceled as well. A nursing supervisor at St. Clare's Hospital said that Caldwell, 62, may have been suffering from exhaustion, but Caldwell's publicist said the actress thought she might have been stricken by oysters she ate between Wednesday's matinee and evening performances. Caldwell collapsed during the part where her character, opera diva Maria Callas, complains to the audience that the theater is too hot. The audience did not realize immediately that the swoon was not scripted, observers said.

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