So is it okay for audience members to sing along during musicals?

victoriafr
Chorus Member
joined:12/26/18
Chorus Member
joined:
12/26/18

Really! Wow, I actually have the opposite view. As for being on phones, of course it's very disrespectful, but it doesn't directly inhibit my ability to enjoy the show. I would vastly prefer audience members talking than singing along with the show. When they sing along, it's like I paid to hear the Broadway singers, not you, but talking is less distracting to me. Doesn't mean talking is okay though, of course!

 

Kad Profile PhotoKad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/5/05
At least the people singing along are actually, yknow, watching the show. Thatís whatís disrespectful of the performers- I think most broadway musical actors would rather see someone smiling and singing along than checked out on their phone.

And I acknowledge that people may buy tickets to a show like Ainít Too Proud to hear the professional singers. But perhaps other people bought their tickets to engage with music that is very meaningful to them? There is not only one reason why people may go to a musical. People go to concerts to hear professionals- and usually not just be professionals, but stars and the people who originated the music- but singing along is often acceptable or at least tolerated.

I have also never encountered in my life of theatregoing any audience members singing at a volume to rival whatís on stage. Iím sure itís happened, but not at the frequency threads like this seem to suggest.

I also donít think many people who do sing along are trying to draw focus to themselves. Thatís silly, and seems like ascribing malicious intent in justify ire toward them.

I think both sides can accommodate the other without outrage and haughtiness.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
TobiasRagg Profile PhotoTobiasRagg Profile Photo
TobiasRagg
Understudy
joined:4/13/19
Understudy
joined:
4/13/19
I saw Rock of Ages twice, and that show is one of the biggest examples of this. So many people sing along. But luckily, the music is very loud so you donít really hear anyone other than the actors. I went during the very last week of Broadway performances and it was one of the most rowdy theatre audiences I have ever seen.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/15/03

SweetLips22 said: "Kad said: "I think there isn't one correct way to engage with live theatre as an audience member, that the predominant way on Broadway is one built on the historic behavior of a specific group that may not be representative of audiences today, and that as of now there is not a great way to reconcile differing cultural baggage in a diverse audience.


I've re-read this 4 times and still have no idea what you said.


and DP I would certainly tell you to STFU. It's not your show or your theatre. You are just a member of the audience no matter how well you know the show---do your singalong at home.


To be honest, I sing along with the title song in the overture, then again during the encore of the title song and again at the Grande Finale.
"

 

"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
BWAY Baby2
Broadway Star
joined:11/10/14
Broadway Star
joined:
11/10/14
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12

Dollypop said: "To be honest, I sing along with the title song in the overture, then again during the encore of the title song and again at the Grande Finale.
"


Why is that important to you, Dolly? I am sincerely asking because it isn't something that would ever occur to me to do. Obviously, you're not showing off your knowledge of show lyrics; who doesn't know the lyric to "Hello, Dolly"?

So why? You have surprised me.

BWAY Baby2
Broadway Star
joined:11/10/14
Broadway Star
joined:
11/10/14

It is NEVER okay and acceptable to intrude on other peoples spaces in a public forum where playing customers are enjoying a perfomance. No- if you must sing- sing to your self and mouth the words so no one can hear you. I think this is a ridiculous question- people do it- but it needlessly disturbs other patrons. It is one thing to go to the bathroom during a performance- that cannot be helped and I do understand when that happens- but to sing during a show while it is occurring in real time- forget it- and anyone who thinks it is okay, to me, is a bit deluded.

jast
Swing
joined:4/15/13
Swing
joined:
4/15/13

Isn't it True That Bruce Springsteen would stop when he started a song, and if the audience started singing along, and say "I got this" ?  So i guess an announcement is the best way to go--even though often times some don't listen to the turn off cell phones etc. 

Dancingthrulife2 Profile PhotoDancingthrulife2 Profile Photo
Dancingthrulife2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/28/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/28/15
What about mouthing the lyrics? I attended a performance of the Oklahoma! revival, and since the house was fully lit, I could see a lot of the older audience members who probably grew up with the material mouthing the title song. Now it wouldnít be much of a distraction if the house is dark (although I personally find a show more enjoyable if you choose not to do so), but unfortunately because of the design choice it does take something away from the performance on stage that is more brooding than the jovial moving faces you can see across from you.
VintageSnarker
Broadway Legend
joined:1/30/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/30/15

I tend to agree that I'd rather someone be enthusiastic about the performance rather than checked out. But I don't have a set response to what's more annoying (talking, singing along, being on your phone, loudly yelling at the stage, etc.) Sometimes big ways of drawing attention to yourself are more obnoxious. But sometimes someone texting next to me or a couple whispering gets on my last nerve. It's kind of like unwrapping a piece of candy. You think you're being quiet but you're not and you're taking forever to do it. So sometimes I'd rather hear a "yas, queen!" than have a couple whisper next to me during every lull. Save your opinions for when the show is actually over, or at least for intermission.

BroadwayMarley
Chorus Member
joined:5/25/19
Chorus Member
joined:
5/25/19

I went to a show last night and there were many audience members singing and some were waiving their arms above their heads.  There was no invitation from the stage for the audience to join in.  This was very distracting.  While this may be appropriate for a pop concert, I do not believe it is good theater behavior.  After the show, I asked one of the cast members who said that it is very distracting to the performers if not invited.  He said that the cast hears more of what is said or sung in the audience than many people seem to believe.  Plus as many here have said, I am not paying to hear voices from the audience rather than the stage.  Also, those audience members who sing also often chatter throughout much of the show and then give me attitude if I politely ask them to stop.

AADA81 Profile PhotoAADA81 Profile Photo
AADA81
Leading Actor
joined:1/15/11
Leading Actor
joined:
1/15/11

No.  Never.  If you want to go to a sing-a-long join a chorus.  No one is paying $150.00 per ticket to hear their seat partner belt out the score.

poisonivy2 Profile Photopoisonivy2 Profile Photo
poisonivy2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/3/16

Dollypop said: "I defy anyone from trying to stop me from singing along during HELLO, DOLLY!"

Oh god, you better not have been one of those people who were singing with the overture. Every time I went there were a few people like that and I'm always shocked that Shubert Theatre which was so strict about everything didn't tell these people to shut the f__k up.

stlrod
Stand-by
joined:2/4/11
Stand-by
joined:
2/4/11

Never!!! You might choke on the salad or sandwich you brought in and just loudly unwrapped.

Updated On: 5/27/19 at 10:32 PM
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12

^^^ You know, I looked at Dollypop's post again and more closely, because I very much respect him and I know he loves HELLO, DOLLY!

He wrote that he sings along with the title number three times:

1. During the overture. In fairness, the narrative has not yet begun and the spectators are not yet immersed in the world of the play. No harm done, really, if Dollypop sings along--and given the popularity of that title song, I'm sure he is not the only one.

2. During the encore of the title number. Again, the very nature of an encore is presentational. The mimetic illusion (already limited in a musical like DOLLY) is shattered in favor of a love-fest for the lead performer. The orchestra is playing full out and the chorus is singing at the top of their lungs. If you can even hear Dollypop join in, I would be surprised.

3. During the curtain call. The repetition of main numbers in Herman's curtain calls was always an attempt to send the audience out singing the songs. If Dollypop gets a head start, is it really such a big deal? I think the nature of those vocal curtain calls pretty much invites audience participation; again, the illusion of the world of the play has already been shattered by the bowing. Myself, I don't have a problem with ANYBODY singing along at that point!

I don't share Dollypop's need to sing along, but looking at his post a second time, it seems clear he has chosen his moments to be minimally disruptive. He should get some credit for that.

South Florida Profile PhotoSouth Florida Profile Photo
South Florida
Broadway Legend
joined:5/2/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/2/08

Yes and no.  Right for Mamma Mia maybe, wrong for most everything else.

Stephanatic
GavestonPS Profile PhotoGavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12

South Florida said: "Yes and no. Right for Mamma Mia maybe, wrong for most everything else."

Frankly, I was so bored sitting through that black hole of stupidity, I would have been happy if my neighbor had sung the entire score of "Hello, Dolly" during the show.

And, yes, I am very much an ABBA fan AND one of my closest friends was playing one of the "fathers".

SweetLips22 Profile PhotoSweetLips22 Profile Photo
SweetLips22
Leading Actor
joined:7/1/18
Leading Actor
joined:
7/1/18

I certainly hope that one day I will find the right occasion to use 'black hole of stupidity'--that is a GEM.

Renart
Stand-by
joined:2/26/09
Stand-by
joined:
2/26/09

LxGstv said:

"I think it’s worth noting again that Dominique Morisseau who wrote the book for Ain’t Too Proud actually retweeted the article in agreement, she wants the audience to participate in her shows."

Interesting.  The writer of the book encouraging audience participation during someone else's part of the show.  I wonder if she would be as generous if people "participated" during the book scenes:  "Booooooooring!"  or "Stop talking and SING!"

dramamama611 Profile Photodramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/4/07

During curtain calls or now the compilations that often follow them?  Sure.  No problem.  Any other time?  NOPE. (Unless, actually encouraged by the show itself -  "No Time at All" - Pippin, for example.)

 

But even the overture would bother me - that's the audience's time to settle in and enter the world of the play.  I HATE when people talk, often at full voice no less, during an overture.

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.
broadway86 Profile Photobroadway86 Profile Photo
broadway86
Broadway Legend
joined:10/8/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/8/03

Not okay with me, unless it is encouraged by the cast.

fashionguru_23 Profile Photofashionguru_23 Profile Photo
fashionguru_23
Broadway Legend
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/21/08

If you'd ask the older woman who was singing and bopping along like she was riding a horse beside me last night at "The Sound of Music" tour, that was perfectly fine...to me, not so much. 

I will admit I mouth the words.

"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
Lot666 Profile PhotoLot666 Profile Photo
Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/8/17

I suspect that the people who have no qualms about singing along in theatres are the same people who talk (LOUDLY) on their phones in public. These people view shared spaces as extensions of their own living rooms.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Lot666 Profile PhotoLot666 Profile Photo
Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/8/17

adam.peterson44 said: "I think singing along...is more like going to a fancy restaurant where diners at a table have ordered the chef's soup of the day, and then pulling out a tupperware full of soup you have cooked at home, and without consent of the diner, pouring your soup into their soup bowl and stirring it all together with the one that they ordered, paid for, and were enjoying."

yes

 

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
Lot666 Profile PhotoLot666 Profile Photo
Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/8/17

LxGstv said: "Dominique Morisseau who wrote the book for Ain’t Too Proud actually retweeted the article in agreement, she wants the audience to participate in her shows."

Thanks for the warning. Now I know that I should avoid any production she's involved in.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage