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The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by chanel 2012-12-04 10:40:22


Amusing observations, and very true.

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/dailymusto/2012/12/the_horror_of_s.php

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-04 10:57:27


Didn't Brantley write about standing ovations a while ago?

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Broadway Bob* 2012-12-04 11:00:42


I absolutely agree!!! Standing O's are WAY too common place these days and not just on Broadway but everywhere.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-04 11:07:29



The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by eperkins 2012-12-04 11:12:10


I think some of the standing o's are just people standing up to put their coats on, or are tired of sitting for 3 hours.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-04 11:18:35


Or standing up just so one's view isn't of the posteriors in front of you who are either standing to ovate or standing to avoid views of the posteriors in front of them who are standing....

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by PalJoey 2012-12-04 11:21:13


It's the new way of applauding. Get used to it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by jv92 2012-12-04 11:28:22


I wonder who the actress was...

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by EponineAmneris 2012-12-04 11:33:23


^^^ I agree, PalJoey.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-12-04 11:46:28


That Musto column had to be a joke, right? An actress interrogating a seated audience member during bows? "The Horror"? It's a joke.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by homeimp 2012-12-04 11:49:13


The writer of the original post should consider that each sentence does not necessarily deserve a paragraph to itself. Not every sentence in every post is extremely well constructed, thought provoking, entertaining, and deserving of such splendid isolation. That should be reserved for only the best sentences. Too many writers today honor each of their sentences with this special treatment. Consequently no sentence stands out amid the the proliferation of sentences all demanding the same attention. Please consider this in future posts.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by goldenboy 2012-12-04 11:49:25


Standing Ovations are awful. They will stand for anything these days.
I refused to get up when people stood up for that awful Annie Revival. I sat in my seat and watch the tuchus of the guy in front of me.

They stood up for Scandalous, Chaplin, Annie.... they will stand up for anything. It didn't used to be that way.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by D2 2012-12-04 11:59:51


"I wonder who the actress was..."

An apocryphal story I've heard many times has this being said backstage after a performance of HAIRSPRAY to a guest of the original Velma Von Tussle by the original Velma Von Tussel.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by LYLS3637 2012-12-04 12:08:48


goldenboy-- If you think they're awful, don't do it. It's not a difficult concept.

I stood for Chaplin (actually Rob McClure), Leap of Faith, Follies, Wicked, and loads others. Because I wanted to.

I did not stand for Sister Act, Evita, Phantom, Chicago, and loads others. Because I didn't want to, but I didn't take offense to those who did. Other people were moved in ways I weren't. Good on them.



The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Kristie-K2 2012-12-04 12:18:34


I did not stand up for "End of Rainbow"...LOL..

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by FireFingers 2012-12-04 12:19:53


I've only given 2 standing ovations for a musical. Les Mis when Alfie Boe and Hadley Fraser were the leads and Matilda. The entire cast (or 95%) have to be amazing to get me on my feet. And I regularly sit whilst others stand.

If you are in a theatre with wooden floors, I find a great alternative to the standing ovation is stamping your feet. Only come across it at Glyndebourne opera house when Gerald Finley played Hans Sachs in Mastersingers, it has an amazing effect. The building really does feel like it is erupting.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Deena Jones 2012-12-04 12:22:02


The actress was in a recent thread on all that chat... sorry her name is escaping me but she did a one woman show of all Chrelws Dickens

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by jeffmiele 2012-12-04 12:29:39


I agree to some of the ideas expressed here. I am very selective with my standing ovations, however, I still do not want to miss anything sometimes. I am often found standing towards the end just because I am unable to see with the people in front of me.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-12-04 12:31:43


OK. Really? You are all posting, with total sincerity, that it bothers you that PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING THEMSELVES TOO MUCH at the theater? What is wrong with you folks?

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by ClydeBarrow 2012-12-04 12:33:54


Me when I don't stand and people are judging me for it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wildcard 2012-12-04 12:52:05


Lea Salonga has said that they appreciate heartfelt applause more than a standing ovation done out of obligation.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Kelly2 2012-12-04 12:59:56


Am I the only one who doesn't see this happening consistently? Maybe it's because I don't go to a lot of the big crowd-pleasers ("Wicked", "Jersey Boys", any Disney show, etc.), but I haven't found it to be a huge problem.

The only thing I've seen recently that fully deserved my, and others', standing ovation was "The Mystery of Edwin Drood". I haven't loved a show so much in years. However, I don't begrudge others for having different taste than me.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by tazber 2012-12-04 13:27:49


I see it all the time.

And I have to say this is old news. Standing O's became de rigueur
years ago. If this is the thing that get Musto's panties in a knot he leads a charmed life.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by BroadwayBen 2012-12-04 13:30:24


oh, it's all so, so terrible. People are excited and want to show their appreciation for people they've witnessed do amazing things. Oh, the horror, the horror! Thank heavens we have jaded theatre queens to show us the way! Yes, Ben Brantley is who we should be listening to! He's the way and the light!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by bk 2012-12-04 13:37:55


The point is they will stand for anything, including people and shows that have NOT done amazing things. It's a simple point, really.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by iluvtheatertrash 2012-12-04 13:38:06


I have occasionally stood to see the curtain call and for no other reason. But I will typically only stand for a performance that wows me. At CHAPLIN, I stood when McClure came out - because he is astonishing and deserved it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-04 13:39:50


No one is saying, "Let's do what Brantley says. Let's listen to Brantley." I was pointing out that Musto is "covering" a concept Brantley addressed 7 months ago.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by beaemma 2012-12-04 13:39:50


I'm sure that some people stand up because they loved the show, but I think more stand up simply because, as PalJoey said, it's the new way of applauding. I saw the obligatory standing ovations in the Midwest before they started happening in New York. There was an article about them in our local paper. The journalist asked someone why he always stood and was told that the actors might think he didn't like the show if he didn't stand. I don't know why applause stopped being enough. I find it hilarious when actors and others promoting a show will cite the standing ovations as evidence of the show's quality. I mean, what doesn't get a standing ovation? I stand up because I like to see the curtain calls and, occasionally, because I loved the show. It bothers me that there is now no way to recognize and pay tribute to something truly exceptional.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-04 13:41:53


My church choir director controversially wrote an article in the newsletter about how the congregation should not applaud soloists, but they still do. People gonna do what people gonna do. There are worse things in the world.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-04 13:46:15


Applause becoming a convention as opposed to the expectation that applause will be withheld if you are not WOWED is fairly new also. Conventions change over time- all the complaining in the world won't fix the fact that as time goes on, standing ovations will probably replace applause as the polite curtain call convention. But if that happens, audiences will develop a new way of showing extreme appreciation as opposed to simple respect for effort spent.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by trentsketch 2012-12-04 13:59:37


I was part of a standing ovation at Wicked once. I realized that, nope, it wasn't the fault of Kristen Chenoweth's understudy that I didn't like Wicked the first time. I stood up, grabbed my coat, and made a beeline for the exit.

In all seriousness, I don't always join in. The last time I did was for The Book of Mormon. Before that, it was Caroline, or Change. I'll clap louder for performers I particularly enjoyed, but don't see the need to stand up just because they finished a show.

Maybe I got spoiled by parents always trying to start a standing ovation for high school theater productions I music directed. It's not always warranted. It's not required. Anyone who feels entitled to a standing ovation is probably overly fond of themselves.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Sugar78 2012-12-04 14:10:55


As someone who has never been physically capable of giving a standing ovation (i.e.: paralyzed), it's interesting for me to read these different perspectives. I've always worried that I looked disrespectful for being the only one not standing, & it's actually made me feel quite self-conscious. Buy hey, I guess I've just been on-trend all these years without even knowing it!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by JoeKv99 2012-12-04 14:13:44


Hey over at the NASCAR fan Chat Room they are debating if people wave pennants too much at NASCAR Races these days. They seem pretty pissed off about it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by ReggieonBway 2012-12-04 14:14:41


I'm in a tour right now, and there are almost always a few people who decide not to stand up. Nobody likes seeing it, because it means we didn't manage to touch those people, but it happens. Few performers are going to take offense to it, but in this day and age the implication of not standing is clear.

Pretty simply, standing o's have become good etiquette in 2012, and not standing sometimes seems a bit pointlessly contrarian to me. I tend to stand in recognition of the performers' and creative team's hard work and talent, if nothing else - I've gone to see shows (Chaplin comes to mind) where my friends and I were bored to tears, but when curtain call came we all stood and applauded.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by FireFingers 2012-12-04 14:17:12


I'm not saying that people shouldn't enjoy themselves, or display that, it's just interesting and possibly sad that the 'currency" of a showing your appreciation of an exceptional performance has become to mean less that it used to.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by songanddanceman2 2012-12-04 15:05:36


I think standing ovations are given out to easily, it used to be something had to blow you away to get you up on your feet yet anytime ive gone to NY to watch a show it seems the audience just stand for the sake of it (When i watched Dracula the musical it got a standing ovation....i mean really?)

It's quite different here in the UK, other than the crappy jukebox musicals that get you up by doing a megamix at the end people only seem to stand when the work makes them stand. In recent years ive only stood for American Idiot (a few weeks ago on tour, phenomenal, the audience just lept up and would not stop applauding) and Parade

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-04 15:06:12


The actress was in a recent thread on all that chat... sorry her name is escaping me but she did a one woman show of all Chrelws Dickens

Miriam Margolyes?

She's a friend of a friend and I adore her, but it does sound like something she might say, half (but only half) in jest.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-04 15:10:26


I agree with Pal Joey: standing ovations for everything have become the convention and we might as well get used to it.

At the very least let's stop congratulating ourselves for our superior taste in refusing to stand. Standing is optional, but smugness should be avoided.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by once a month 2012-12-04 15:43:47


Oh please....why make an issue out of something so emotional that is in no way intended (personally) towards anyone other than the performers?

Such a 'gucci' complaint....be grateful that as the minority we are we even have such a dilemma! MOST folks don't get to Broadway at all, much less as regularly as we do on this board!

Merry Christmas!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by SNAFU 2012-12-04 16:14:22


Have to say last week when I saw Whos Aftraid of Virginia Woolf? the were only a few standers, there was however a thuderous applause and people shouting "Bravo!". Seemed a delightful change!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Kad 2012-12-04 16:19:02


I'd say that plays usually get standing ovations less often than musicals, generally. And off-Broadway shows don't see them much, either.

But I digress.

The horror! THE HORROR! of standing ovations. Bitch, you'll all be standing in another minute anyway.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by GilmoreGirlO2 2012-12-04 16:44:12


While I try to only stand for things I believe deserve it, I am never upset that others are standing even if I am not. I also find it hard to NOT stand quite often (one reason being wanting to see the curtain call) as, if the performers gave their best, I want to show them my appreciation. Even if I didn’t enjoy the show, if the performers were up there working hard, I will stand for them (the last one I can think of is “Kinky Boots” – did not think the show deserved a standing ovation but that hard-working cast sure did).

One time I did not stand up was after Patti’s “Rose’s Turn,” although for different reasons. I was in the front row with my mom and sister and when she received a standing ovation we remained seated. However, not because I didn’t feel like she deserved the standing ovation, but rather because I was so blown away I could not stand up. That was the only experience I have ever had like that I wish I could have expressed to Patti my reasoning, as she was probably wondering why the 3 in the front row did not stand.

This thread also reminds me of encores…encores are now expected, rather than demanded by the audience.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by theatredk 2012-12-04 16:52:02


This standing ovation thing seams to have thankfully died out here in Melbourne, Australia
It was big around when Wicked & Priscilla were touring

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Marianne2 2012-12-04 17:05:06


I don't care either way if people do this or not. Though, I have stood up at shows if I couldn't see the curtain call. But, that's all that means to me if I hadn't planned to. Interestingly, If I've sat in the very front row of theaters with really low stages and that row was so close to the stage, I don't like to stand up, even if I really liked the show. It just feels weird being practically face to face with the performers. That happened at Xanadu at the Helen Hayes Theatre.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Kelly2 2012-12-04 17:06:37


Marianne2, I agree about the front row thing, can be pretty awkward. That's why I try to sit further back if there's any possibility of that.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by After Eight 2012-12-04 17:08:43


This subject has been discussed several times here.

Wholly apart from the merits, or lack thereof, of the shows being accorded these standing ovations, there's the far more important question of courtesy- or in this case, discourtesy-- to the patrons behind you, who either will not be able to see the curtain call, or who will be forced to stand as well, whether they liked the show or not.

Yes, yes..... I know... courtesy towards others: how archaic a notion.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-04 17:17:33


Standing ovations at each show is like giving trophies to everyon on the team for showing up. Therefore, it means NOTHING. And worse, it takes away from the shows that DO deserve being shown they are extraordinary.

I don't pretend to get to decide what any individual audience member deems to be outstanding and worthy of a standing "o", but it is clear that most audience members do not value their own opinion.

Me? If I don't think a show is "worthy" I refuse to stand, even if I cannot see who is taking their bow. I do, happily, stand when I feel it is warranted. Whether I'm the only or the last one to do so.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-04 17:41:50


I think that's a fine standard, dramamama, and I certainly don't think you or anyone should be forced to stand.

But at this point, the standing "O" has become so conventional, I have begun to think in terms of what sort of statement am I making by NOT standing along with everyone else. To some degree, the statement is relative: Did I really dislike this performance so much that I have to be the only person who refuses to stand?

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by CHOOKA2 2012-12-04 17:48:43


What annoys me more? Audiences who clap along to the music played as the performers take their bows so there is no level of distinction between each artist.
I recently saw an all Thai cast of Miss Saigon in Bangkok[now that's another story] and their curtain calls were weird--as each artist came on-polite clapping then silence till the next person appeared-audience couldn't sustain applause,much less get on their feet.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-04 17:49:18


Interesting thought, Gaveston.

But I will stick to my guns, I was told a standing ovation is for excellence and that's when I'll wholeheartedly give one.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Wynbish 2012-12-04 18:01:06


Is mine the only mind that goes to a dirty place when I hear, "standing O"?

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by kadu335 2012-12-04 18:38:49


I've always loved stage musicals but only after I graduated (and started working) that I began saving money to go to NYC by myself. I appreciate the opportunity so much that silly stuff like this doesn't really bother me at all. Off course, there were plenty of shows that I wouldn't give a standing ovation if it was all up to me, but in the end of the day I'm so glad to be there that I don't really mind having this "obligation" (when it happens) haha

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by GavestonPS 2012-12-04 18:57:23


But I will stick to my guns, I was told a standing ovation is for excellence and that's when I'll wholeheartedly give one.

Mama, I hope it was clear I wasn't asking you to change.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-04 19:00:03


Loud and clear, Gaveston -- nothing to worry about here!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by TheatreFan4 2012-12-04 19:31:24


I don't do it because I feel they absolutely deserve one, but because of the damn ripple effect. People in front of you stand and then you can't see s**t making you stand up and the cycle continues.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Deena Jones 2012-12-04 19:39:32


Yes, thank you Galveston... It was Miriam Margolyes!!!! Her stint on the graham Norton Show was hysterical!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-04 20:26:00


"What annoys me more? Audiences who clap along to the music played as the performers take their bows so there is no level of distinction between each artist. "

Oh dear, that's usually precisely what I do. Or at least I clap to a general rhythm when the bows start, and for a performer I particularly liked I clap faster and a bit harder. *shrug*

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Borstalboy 2012-12-04 23:47:02


At Broadway prices, people have to leave feeling that they've sat through something worthwhile, even if it wasn't. Perhaps the standing ovation is for themselves.

"Well, it was only okay...but everyone learned their lines and knew their blocking and was committed to this EXPERIENCE...so we might as well stand and applaud their and our commitment to the EXPERIENCE, which cost me some high bucks...well, that's New York!"

It can, I acknowledge, be an ambivalent experience when you are "feh" on a show, but admiring a performer's gusto and skill. I recently had this experience with BAM's less-than-invigorating THE TROJAN WOMEN (AFTER EURIPIDES). Ellen Lauren poured her guts and power into a challenging role and soared, but the rest of the cast was weak and the production's ideas puny, in my opinion. The cast came out to bow and I remained seated. Then she came out to do an a sola bow and I stood. Sucker! She threw her arms out and the whole cast gathered around her for "her" final bow. Generous, yes, but let the audience give high credit where high credit is due.

It sounds to me like the audiences of SCANDALOUS and CHAPLIN were standing prematurely for their respective stars who, by all reports, were working their asses off. Also, is this strictly a musical phenomenon, do you think?

Generally I find the immediate standing ovation less of an issue off- and off-off Broadway.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by LimelightMike 2012-12-04 23:58:05


I don't believe in standing. For every show.

I saw GIANT a week or so ago, front row, dead center. Was the ONLY one -- that I could see in the general vicinity standing at the curtain call. Once those lights went out, I felt the spirit in me, so I stood up and gave it my all. Truly enraptured by the whole thing. Haven't done that in a long, long time.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by SKAcasting1127 2012-12-05 11:37:33


Really? I don't see the problem here. These actors are all working there A@#$ off on stage each night. All of you that have a problem with people standing in appreciation...I would like to see YOU do what they do.
Gosh...don't be so pretentious.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by LYLS3637 2012-12-05 11:42:43


^ Exactly!

It's the equivalent of telling someone your opinion is better than theirs.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by PalJoey 2012-12-05 11:45:18


I love Miriam Margolyes. I just saw her one woman show about Dickens's women and she was exquisite--and exquisitely funny.

http://youtu.be/qngavs4QBYs

Did anyone else see it?

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by darquegk 2012-12-05 12:10:18


As a performer, I actually feel a sort of glee when audiences start clapping along to the music at curtain call. Audience, orchestra and cast become one in a sort of rapturous moment- the audience never starts clapping along when the music begins, only when the applause becomes so constant that it's not peaking anymore. They simply give in and become part of the show.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-05 15:21:44


I completely agree darque--I completely don't understand why someone would object to audiences applauding in time to the curtain music...

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by darion 2012-12-05 16:11:50


i think its a show of respect for the performers for their performances and hard work. nothing wrong with that, unless theyre horrible. and thats rare

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by FlowerChild67 2012-12-05 20:44:32


I know this sounds super weird, but when I'm doing community/school shows, it seems like people do think it's an obligation to give a standing ovation, and I don't like it because then you can't tell if they actually enjoyed it, or are just standing out of obligation! When I'm in an audience, I don't care, I think it's great that people enjooyed themselves! (Yeah, I assume it's obligation when I'm in the show, but out of enjoyment when I'm in the audience. Feel free to judge me:P)

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-05 20:59:33


1. You aren't JUST applauding (or standing) for the actors, but for the entire production.

2. If you stand for everything, regardless of quality, then what do you do when something IS truly outstanding? Scream like a banshee?

3. I am not obligated to clap or stand or anything else except be respectful while the show is going on.


I really find it hard to believe that some of you are critisizing people for not being sheep. It's this kind of reaction that KEEPS us getting crap like Leap of Faith and Scandalous -- because standing ovation convince people that the SHOW was good, but they just couldn't find the right audience.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by TheGirlUpstairs 2012-12-06 02:33:29


I don't think that you have any obligation to give a standing ovation every time you see a show. But when you start talking about how you "refuse" to stand, or that standing ovations are ruining Broadway, or that people who stand are "sheep," you start to sound pretty pretentious. It's just applause, lighten up!

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by SNAFU 2012-12-06 02:40:41


"Is mine the only mind that goes to a dirty place when I hear, "standing O"?"

When I REALLY love a show, I give a leg shaking O! Then rush outside for a cigarette.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by LYLS3637 2012-12-06 08:54:00


Dramamama, I have to disagree.

1) I interpret curtain calls as being those putting on the show (actors, backstage crew, and the orchestra). The director, composer, lyricist, librettist don't participate. I can understand what you mean, but to me, curtain calls are about the people working/performing at that specific performance.

2) Again, you don't have to stand. You don't have to scream. I've heard and seen people do both. Ovations are a unique thing. The ovation Elena Roger got in Evita was a whole lot quieter than the ovation Idina Menzel got in Wicked (and both audiences were standing).

3) No one is obligated to do anything so I pose the question again: What's wrong with people expressing their enjoyment the way they want?

By the way, I stood after Leap of Faith. Not because it was the best thing I've ever seen (or heard), but because that crew, orchestra, and cast went full throttle for 2.5 hours. AND I enjoy watching that kind of dedication. So I say again, one man's crap is another's good time. So you do your thing and sit during the curtain call of Leap of Faith, and I'll stand. But you're not better than me just because that's what you choose to do.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by dramamama611 2012-12-06 09:37:44


There isn't anything wrong with it. I totally support your choice to decide the way you want to show your appreciation -- but a number of people here make it sound like those of us that CHOOSE not to stand are being selfish and that we should just "do it". THAT'S the part I disagree with.

If you for ANY reason believe that a standing ovation IS justified, by all means I think you should do so regardless of the rest of the theater. But that should go both ways.

I have often been one of the few sitting as well as the one of the few standing (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson comes to mind.)

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Renart 2012-12-06 10:09:24


I have to say that I've been to more than a few shows where it seems like the the cast stood up there holding hands for just a smidge longer than they needed to, smiles plastered to their faces, as if they were saying between their teeth, "We can stand up here for as long as it takes for every single person to stand up and applaud."

Standing ovations don't bother me at all. The show is over; people can do whatever they want.

The bigger annoyance to me is the habit of American audiences to applaud at the end of EVERY musical number during the course of the show as if it were a concert. That changes the flow of the show and can take someone "out of the moment" and is way more bothersome.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by henrikegerman 2012-12-06 10:32:40


Anyone ever feel enormously moved and impressed by a performance to the degree where the last thing you wanted to do was stand up and "break the spell"? I felt that way at THE PIANO LESSON last week. I sat there blown away, too consumed with thought and emotion about what I had just seen to feel like switching into NY curtain call compulsory time-to-stand-up mode. And I was sitting in front and so there was no one standing in front of me anyway (although most of the audience was on their feet).

Even then, the thought crossed my mind that the cast might have thought I was dissing them by not rising. Just the opposite.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by goldenboy 2012-12-09 09:36:40


I think the major problem is that a Standing Ovation on Broadway doesn't mean anything anymore.

I leapt to my feet for Book of Mormon, for Wicked, for the Nathan Lane in the Producers. These meant something. They deserved it.

But having to stand for mediocrity and so so performances? Like that awful Annie Revival? And other pieces of crap? IF they stand for that, stand o's have no meaning. And therein lies the problem.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Phantom of London 2012-12-09 13:52:56


Surely when patrons give a standing ovation, it isn't a statement to say that the show is/was brilliant, but rather a recognition of respect for the performances.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by Kelly2 2012-12-09 13:54:52


I will say sometimes it can be awkward. When I saw a show recently, I was incredibly moved and impressed and wished to stand up, however I was sitting quite close and no one else was standing. I wanted very badly to be the lone ovation-giver but working in the industry, the idea of drawing that attention to myself and being nearly face-to-face with the cast was discouraging. Very unfortunate, I may have made the wrong call simply out of my own embarrassment.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by goldenboy 2012-12-09 14:13:33


By all means.. if you are moved and loved the performances GET UP.even if you are the only one. But don't get up just cause everyone else it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by hushpuppy 2012-12-10 07:26:05


I remember watching a Merv Griffin Show, featuring Beverly Sills and Ethel Merman, where he celebrated the work of Cole Porter. They were discussing the opening night of ANYTHING GOES (1934) and Merv asked Merman if there was a standing ovation that night. She replied that there was, and he commented that the standing ovation was a rare event back then, not like 'today', where it's very common. That had to have been in the early 70's (I was in high school, the earth had just cooled), so this phenomenon of all shows getting a standing ovation has been going on for at least 35+ years.

Having said all that, I distinctly remember seeing GIGI in San Francisco in 1973 and it did NOT get a standing ovation, but at LORELEI, several months later, Carol Channing did get a standing ovation.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by goldenboy 2012-12-10 15:47:52


I left New York in 1990. The eighties did not have standing ovations for almost every show as there are today. I came back to New York in 2008 and people stood up for everything. There certainly has been a change.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by CHOOKA2 2012-12-11 04:56:06


Clapping in time to the curtain music bows prevents the performer hearing the individual response to their performance--if I clap louder for a particular performer,it gets lost in the noise and robs me of the pleasure of showing my appreciation.Can I digress and say how appaling it is that TV is 'educating' studio TV audiences to scream and yell whenever a performer goes for a high note or wiggles their arse,and are now taking their new-found 'I want to be noticed' into the theatre and screaming their tits off whenever they feel like it.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by broadwayfever 2012-12-11 06:24:29


Who cares if more and more audiences are giving standing ovations? I mean seriously, can you find some better to complain about?

Many people travelled several miles/hours and paid their hard-earned money to watch these shows...and if they want to stand up at the end to show the actors their appreciation, then so be it. If you don't like it or can't 'stand' it, then head for the exits.

Next thing you know people on this site will be complaining about how too many people are coming to visit New York City, lol.

The horror of standing ovations on Broadway. It's getting awful.
Posted by newintown 2012-12-11 09:21:20


Too many people are coming to visit New York City.