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CRITICS RAVAGE BROADWAY AUDIENCES

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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 01:37pm
No mention of the Pippin tuna incident.


Nasty Broadway Audiences
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Updated On: 7/1/14 at 01:37 PM
brdway411
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 01:58pm
^^^ THIS, It has gotten so bad, I don't want to go anymore. I remember the days of getting dressed up and it was special. Now, it is like going to a carnival (as the article states). It's a shame. I wish the theaters would do more to end the insanity.
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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:02pm
I like the comparison they make to Macy's basement.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
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dramamama611
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:12pm
Yes, we've been complaining about this here for some time. However, it hasn't gotten as bad that its a deterrent for my going. (I DO feel like that at the movie theater however.) I could see feeling that way within the next 10 years, however.

A low down, dirty shame.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Phillytheatreguy10
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:12pm
I would agree with the article to a point, audiences have been steadily becoming more ignorant not only of proper etiquette, but of shows and actors in general. I've heard an array of dumb things uttered while in the audience, I just saw "The Realistic Joneses" and someone asked if that was considered a Broadway show, or Off-Broadway show?! I cannot believe the cell phones that come out at curtain calls or people who immediately start snapping pictures when they get in the theatre and don't understand why they can't, or front rows that put drinks, bags, etc. on the stage! Where I differ with the article is that, it's also been my experience that Ushers also appear to have given up and policies and procedures for handling theses incidents often vary from theatre to theatre, even when the theatres are owned by the same company. tickets are not cheap, I like to have a good seat, I like to look presentable, it never gets old or isn't special for me to be at a live show, maybe its lost its luster and everyone can afford it, but I also expect to not have to put up with the ignorance and trust that bad behavior will be handled promptly and professionally. I have a theatre degree and as a performer myself I respect my peers on stage and off, it should be that way for all theatre goers not just those in the business.
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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:17pm
To some extent I feel some ushers have just given up. At Rocky they will even take the picture for you. And I am sorry... the signs in front of theaters encouraging Instagram , Facebook and Twitter all lead to this behavior. The phone conversations are just inexcusable and the offending patron should be removed and jailed immediately. YES! JAILED FOR DISTURBANCE. Actions speak louder than words.


They used to make announcements before shows saying that the taking of pictures and use of flash is dangerous to the performer on stage and punishable by law. They should make their cell phone and chit chat announcements just as stern.
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Updated On: 7/1/14 at 02:17 PM
StephanCasey
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:58pm
I know this is serious but I can't be the only person who killed myself laughing by the end of the first paragraph. Can I?
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Sutton Ross
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 02:59pm
It depends on the theater, the ushers at Once and Hedwig yelled at people for their cell phones quite aggressively. It was awesome. I hope they don't think everyone behaves this way in a theater, some people still do have respect for the cast, crew, and other patrons.
Dilettante
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:01pm
Dame,

Thank you for linking this article. It reiterates the many points we've raised often on this board. It's good, though, that the problem is being voiced to a wider audience. Perhaps that will result in some improvements? Yeah, lotsa luck!

I cite one specific line in the article, because it touches on a facet of the problem that hasn't seemed to engender much discussion here, and one that I feel is well worth exploring: ďThe spotlight is meant to be on the stage--not on you!" I expressed the same sentiment in one of the 1,000,001 Bridges of Madison County threads, in which people were carrying on (like infants, I'm embarrassed to say) about how much they were going to carry on, and subsequently did carry on, during the final week of performances: shouting, crying, etc. I dared to point out that this was not only inconsiderate to other patrons, but also an example of a most unflattering sort of narcissism. Naturally, I received holy hell for my observations.

But let's look at the problem squarely. Who's worse, actually: someone who doesn't go to the theatre regularly and texts, plays games on the phone, etc., or a regular theatregoer who shouts "whoo whoo" and heaven knows what else and makes an absolute spectacle of him/herself? Both are rude and inconsiderate to the people around them, to be sure, but the latter also seeks to call attention to him/herself, and in my opinion, is the far more obnoxious and culpable of the two. The irony of it all is that the narcissists think themselves somehow superior to the texters and will glare furiously at them, all the while happily disrupting the performance with their own brand of boorishness.

Of course, all of this must be seen in the larger context of our society at large. Ever since the hippies and post-modernist academics came and shot everything to hell, such ideals as humility, selflessness, propriety, decorum, etc. have been tossed in the wastebasket. So then why should one expect people to behave according to such principles? It's all about me, me, me, immediate self-gratification, and doing your own thing, or whatever such expression is used nowadays. As for everybody else, to hell with 'em. As a result we get texters, tuna-fish- sandwich eaters, and whoo whooers to destroy everyone else's theatregoing experience.

Yep, the chickens have come home to roost, both on the Bridges of Madison County and in a theatre near you.
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Sutton Ross
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:01pm
Stephan, as long as you're not one of these inconsiderate dickbags at the theater that completely ruins other people's enjoyment of the show, laugh all you want!
Dilettante
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Brian07663NJ
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:02pm
The theater owners do not encourage "better" behavior by having snack concession vendors roaming the aisles hawking snacks at intermission! When I attended If/Then the vendor was going up and down the stairs! That works in a sports arena where fans are allowed to jump up, scream reponses etc and that is the atmosphere that is being fostered.
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StephanCasey
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:09pm
Of course not. I would never be disrespectful but I still find it rather funny. It's bittersweet I suppose. I suppose it goes back to the stealing the spotlight. The fact that you're laughing at other people in the audience is not the way it should be
After Eight
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:10pm
"I remember the days of getting dressed up and it was special. "

So do I. And, yes, it was special.

Makes you want to cry.

Well, it makes ME want to cry.
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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:11pm
The wohooing is not annoying if it is genuine. It usually isn't.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:17pm
After8 : I found the audience for Bridges during the performance I saw during its final week to be so rude and impolite . They were not there to watch the show. They were there to wohoo and make a spectacle of themselves . Most of them were overweight women. Not sure what the connection or reasoning for that is . Just a fact.

Maybe I am just becoming a crankanterous old fart and should just stay home with the bootlegs.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 7/1/14 at 03:17 PM
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kdogg36
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 03:32pm
Although it is, for whatever reason, not usually considered rudeness in the same way as some other behaviors mentioned in the article and on this thread, the phenomenon that causes me the greatest level of disturbance is late arrival to the theater. At almost every performance, my experience of the event is hampered by groups of people stumbling into their seats. In my opinion, theater management should never inconvenience people who arrived on time for the sake of those who didn't bother. I am close to making a personal commitment never to stand up to allow latecomers to pass if they are seated in my aisle, and I encourage others to do the same.
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PepperedShepherd
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:05pm
"At almost every performance, my experience of the event is hampered by groups of people stumbling into their seats. In my opinion, theater management should never inconvenience people who arrived on time for the sake of those who didn't bother."

^ This ^

Probably the most disruptive thing I've ever experienced in decades of theater-going occurred just last month at PHANTOM.

There we were, a good half hour into the show. Norm Lewis and Sierra Boggess were singing "The Phantom of the Opera". The rowboat, the fog, the candelabras, you know the drill. Probably THE key scene in the play.

Suddenly, some dimwitted usher felt that that would be the perfect time to seat an entire group of people in Front Row Center, Orchestra -- necessitating half the row exiting their seats to allow the late-comers to pass, with all the attendant jostling and disruption to all around.

I complained to the House Manager during intermission, who said "Oh, they shouldn't have done that" but otherwise didn't really seem to give a damn.


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Wildcard
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:15pm
Would a huge sign outlining theater etiquette by the entrance doors help? They could be presented creatively so people pay attention. Many people who see shows nowadays are not the traditional theater audience members and unfamiliar with what's acceptable. If these signs could reach even 10% of these newbies, that would make a huge difference.
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:22pm
Probably not. It's not like the announcement before the show gets everyone to silence their cell phones.
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perfectlymarvelous
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:23pm
I've worked merch in a lot of theaters and the amount of people who I see arriving well past the starting time and who seem to be in no rush at all is just astounding to me. I've never once been late to the theater, including during the years where I was coming into the city from central New Jersey.

When I saw Cabaret from the rear mezzanine during previews, there were 2 girls who were whispering and on their cell phones for the entirety of the first act. During the entr'acte, a man a couple of rows behind me told them to turn off their phones and they rolled their eyes and started whispering about him. I mean, seriously? It's fine if you're bored but don't disturb other people who also paid for a ticket and would actually like to watch the show.

Updated On: 7/1/14 at 04:23 PM
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DAME
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:29pm
You should have backed up the guy and said something to them as well. You see.. most people won't say anything and don't want to get involved. HATE THAT.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
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perfectlymarvelous
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 04:30pm
They did eventually put their phones away. By that time the dialogue had started up again and I didn't want to disturb the performance further.
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ClumsyDude15
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 05:14pm
The minute I read this article I was brought back to this past Saturday at Les Mis watching as people snapped flash photos at curtain call, and watching Keala Settle look like she was going to jump into the audience and whack the people upside the head with her fan. From what I gather from a friend in the production, the house staff did nothing to stop this, despite the fact that Keala and others of the cast kept giving the people in question glares or a verbal tongue lashing (in the case of Keala). Despite all of that, the people in question didn't stop - they apparently turned the flash off their camera and just kept snapping away, pissing off Keala more and more. The thing I find so ridiculous is that I went to take a picture of the understudy board in the lobby, and was told no photos in the lobby before the show, yet the house staff does nothing to stop the people in the audience from snapping curtain call photos?

Updated On: 7/1/14 at 05:14 PM
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starcatchers
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 05:28pm
I can't be the only one noticing the CONSTANT issue of people a) reading their playbills during the show and b) using their phones to light it, right? Most notably, in the front row of "Holler If Ya Hear Me" the other day. If you can't follow along, read a synopsis after.
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dramamama611
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 05:35pm
I honestly think the only way this is going to change is for us, the regular theater goer, to complain to house management EVERY SINGLE time....noisy food, late comers, phone use etc.

If we make them aware of our displeasure, we become THEIR pain and something might get done. When all we do is grumble here, we're part of te problem.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Posted: 7/1/14 at 05:35pm
The LM cast seems to be doing a better job on twitter than the ushers are doing in the actual Imperial.
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