Poll: George Takei, Iain Armitage and More Weigh in on Theatre Etiquette
Here's Patti LuPone's and HAND TO GOD's chance for vindication.
Goldstar just released the results of its recent theatre etiquette survey, plus they asked ALLEGIANCE's George Takei, Twitter's BroadwayGirlNYC and the world's youngest theatre critic, Iain Armitage, to weigh in on the subject. For the survey, more than 1,000 Goldstar members were polled.
Without further ado, let's start with the most timely topic: cell phones.
- Cell phone snafus: Allowing your cell phone to ring while attending a live show is a great way to make new enemies, with only 0.2% of respondents fessing up to participating in this nearly universally loathed behavior. But Goldstar members were torn between two solutions for silencing their phone: turning the phone off completely (46%) and setting it to "vibrate" mode (44%).
- Texting or tweeting during a play is clear no-no, with 89% of survey respondents saying that it's "never OK." (However, one out of 10 respondents say texting and tweeting are OK "if done discreetly.")
Even Twitter-lebrity @BroadwayGirlNYC's Laura Heywood, who you'd think is glued to the social media platform at all times, says that texting/tweeting during a show is "Never OK." Yet, if she does keep her phone on it stays on "airplane mode" and she turns the brightness all the way down.
- To butt, or not to butt? That is the question. It's an eternal debate: When squeezing into a row of seats, which side of your body should face those you're scooting past? Believe it or not, our research found a clear favorite, with respondents favoring "butt-side" with a nearly 3-to-1 margin.
Takei threw in his support for the "butt-side" scoot method. And the 6-year-old theatre critic of "Iain Loves Theatre" provided some of the most etiquette-savvy answers to our survey, offering that he likes to face the person he's scooting by -- "so I can say 'hello' and 'excuse me' as I pass."
- Who gets the armrest? Most respondents agree that the "armrest wars" basically boil down to a finders-keepers situation. Whoever puts his or her arm on the armrest first is sittin' pretty for the rest of the show.
However, the twenty-first century's answer to Emily Post, Real Housewives of New York star and author of Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair, LuAnn de Lesseps, says she always leaves the armrest for the theatergoers seated next to her. "After all, good manners and etiquette are about making others around you feel comfortable," says LuAnn. "And what's more comfortable than the armrest?"
- The big picture. When asked their overall BIGGEST live theater etiquette pet peeve, it was a dead heat between "people who talk during the show" (44%) and "cell phone users" (40%).
"I don't like any of these but the snorer makes me the saddest," says Iain. "Because they're missing out on how fun theatre can be!"
In case you aren't up-to-date on Broadway's recent cell phone woes, read about Patti LuPone's reaction to a texting audience member and catch up on HAND TO GOD's rogue charger incident. Then, tell us your answers to the poll questions in the comments below!