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

Jessryn
Swing
joined:5/2/19
Swing
joined:
5/2/19
No. It is letting your enjoyment take precedence over the enjoyment of everyone else around you.

I was seeing Dreamgirls at The Muny in St. Louis, which is a unique situation because it is a large outdoor theater but it is still a theater. And Jennifer Holliday was reprising the role of Effie White for the last time. And while she was probably too old to be playing Effie still, man could she sing. But the woman next to me sung along the WHOLE time, dampening my enjoyment of watching this actress in her iconic role.
CT2NYC Profile PhotoCT2NYC Profile Photo
CT2NYC
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/7/17
At AIN'T TOO PROUD, the woman seated next to me (who came in 15 minutes late, mind you) started singing along. A couple of songs in, I leaned over and said, "I know it's hard, but can you please stop singing." Other than a little humming, I didn't hear a peep out of her after that. I refuse to suffer in silence.
ggersten Profile Photoggersten Profile Photo
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/11/06

I know I've posted this before - but at Tina in London, the preshow announcement asked people to not sing along until the finale.

They also have done some sing along performances of various shows. Those who attend theoretically are forewarned (but not everyone gets the heads-up)

EllieRose2 Profile PhotoEllieRose2 Profile Photo
EllieRose2
Broadway Star
joined:11/22/17
Broadway Star
joined:
11/22/17

I think it's a great idea for a pre show announcement for this, although I wonder how many people would actually listen?

Yellowhammerfund.org
GeorgeandDot Profile PhotoGeorgeandDot Profile Photo
GeorgeandDot
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/13/16
Patti LuPone FANatic Profile PhotoPatti LuPone FANatic Profile Photo
Patti LuPone FANatic
Broadway Legend
joined:3/4/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/4/06

As some of you might know, I'm a fan of "Chicago".  While I wouldn't dare "sing out" during any part of the show, I do "mime" a good portion of the lyrics and dialogue.  In 2013, I had the pleasure of seeing "Pippin" on Broadway, where they had an audience sing-a-long segment, led by Berthe.  That was a  magical experience!  

"Noel [Coward] and I were in Paris once. Adjoining rooms, of course. One night, I felt mischievous, so I knocked on Noel's door, and he asked, 'Who is it?' I lowered my voice and said 'Hotel detective. Have you got a gentleman in your room?' He answered, 'Just a minute, I'll ask him.'" (Beatrice Lillie)
Susanswerphone Profile PhotoSusanswerphone Profile Photo
Susanswerphone
Broadway Star
joined:4/26/14
Broadway Star
joined:
4/26/14
It's never appropriate, unless invited to do so by the person(s) being paid to sing. That is the only time.
The fact that this is even considered a serious question is part and parcel of the whole problem of acceptable conduct. I witnessed it recently at a Met matinee and was thankful for the usher who put an immediate stop to it.
As my Nana used to say, shaking her head, "some people's children"!
LxGstv
Broadway Star
joined:11/22/16
Broadway Star
joined:
11/22/16
I’ve already made my points about this in the bad theater thread, where I was called a piece of work for commenting on the “article” without having seen the show.

I’m completely against singing along at any musical, with that said, I find it interesting that Dominique Morisseau has stated that she wants the audience to actively participate on her shows. But she’s not the one performing the show 8 times a week, so I wonder how the actors feel about it? They are probably ok with it or they wouldn’t have signed up for the job?!

I didn’t see Summer, but I remember someone posting here that they say something along the lines of “if you know the words feel free to sing along”, in which case, it’s a bit trickier to ask someone not to sing, when the show encourages it.

I just hope the Tina Turner musical on broadway makes an announcement like the west end version, and The Cher Show needs to implement that ASAP!
SweetLips22 Profile PhotoSweetLips22 Profile Photo
SweetLips22
Leading Actor
joined:7/1/18
Leading Actor
joined:
7/1/18

Not quite as bad, but still annoying to me is when at a concert [ I don't mean a pop concert] the singer starts a song and people clap because THEY recognise that song--'Oh I love that song'-again, all about ME. Aren't I special I actually know that song.

Wait till the end, then go crazy.

adam.peterson44 Profile Photoadam.peterson44 Profile Photo
adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
Broadway Star
joined:
9/7/11

SomethingPeculiar wrote:  " yes, that's exactly what happens when you see a play, or dine in a restaurant, or attend any other type of paid event! You wouldn't try to to cook alongside the chef in a restaurant, or tell a bus driver how to drive."

 

I think you raised a good point here, and i would even carry your analogy further.  I think singing along is not just like cooking alongside the chef in a restaurant.  It 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. 

The sound of nearby people singing can't be separated from the sound coming from stage - it all blends together in audience member's hearing, just like the soup.  At best, even if the singer sings well, it distracts from hearing the cast that others paid to see. Worse, the blending could be off even if they could be good singers on their own.  And worst of all, they might sound horrible altogether in the ears of their neighbours. 


tl;dr:  No, not unless invited by the cast/libretto to sing along at a certain point.

David10086 Profile PhotoDavid10086 Profile Photo
David10086
Broadway Star
joined:7/22/17
Broadway Star
joined:
7/22/17

For the love of God, NO! I didn't pay to hear the audience sing.

I'll never forget seeing Carol Channing in 'Hello Dolly' back in the early 90s when she toured before going to B'way.  The woman behind me (and her friends who filled most of the row) decided to sing along off-key to every song. People were telling them to be quiet, but they didn't care - they just laughed and sang along (they had to be Channing's age range at the time). I was so happy my friend and I had great seats (fifth row orchestra) and couldn't wait to see the legendary Channing....just to be ruined by this row of women behind us. 

mailhandler777
Broadway Legend
joined:8/15/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/15/15
No,no,no just NO. I don't care what color skin you have. I didn't pay good money to hear anyone sing but the people onstage. The exception is when the cast asks you to join in like at the end of On Your Feet. Or they break the 4th wall like they did in Hair.
Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
dearalanaaaa Profile Photodearalanaaaa Profile Photo
dearalanaaaa
Broadway Star
joined:10/6/17
Broadway Star
joined:
10/6/17
No. Never. Full stop. if I see somebody doing this I will alert the usher, and if they don't stop after that I'll stand. That's right, I'd rather stand than hear somebody sing in the audience.
At Be More Chill, somebody did that in front of mewhile it was off Broadway and I swiftly shushed them. I get they were a teenager, but I am too and it seemed like nobody learned theatre manners before seeing the show. Yes, I tend to lipsync to shows. No, I never allow a single noise that could be distracting.
EdEval
Stand-by
joined:11/30/16
Stand-by
joined:
11/30/16

I think it is OK to do so during the finale when the cast comes out to take their bows like in 

Hello Dolly,  42nd Street,  No No Nanette. "I Want To Be Happy"  with people applauding and the band tears into the title song EVERYONE knows, then I think it's OK.  But during the actual show I'd say NO.

LuPita2 Profile PhotoLuPita2 Profile Photo
LuPita2
Broadway Star
joined:9/11/18
Broadway Star
joined:
9/11/18

Basically just expect it from "Aint Too Proud" audiences.  The only thing you can really do if you are dying to see it is just accept it long before you enter the theater.  Sigh.  

StageJunkie2
Swing
joined:7/8/17
Swing
joined:
7/8/17

Uh...NO!  Never. End of discussion.  At the prices being charged, I can’t believe this is even a serious question.

Zip it...and let the professionals do their thing. Spare us your lame warbling and let us enjoy what we’ve paid for.  Save your vocal stylings for the shower.

yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/14/12

"I am sitting here with my jaw on the ground that there are answers here other than ABSOLUTELY NOT."

I agree 100%.

JSquared2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/23/17
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/23/17

EdEval said: "I think it is OK to do so during the finale when the cast comes out to take their bows like in

Hello Dolly, 42nd Street, No No Nanette. "I Want To Be Happy" with people applauding and the band tears into the title song EVERYONE knows, then I think it's OK. But during the actual show I'd say NO.
"

 

OMFG

 

brdway411
Broadway Legend
joined:2/24/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/24/14

LuPita2 said: "Basically just expect it from "Aint Too Proud" audiences. The only thing you can really do if you are dying to see it is just accept it long before you enter the theater. Sigh."

Oh hell no, you go get the usher and have them get the house manager to speak to the offending party. Some loud women insisted on singing along to Jeresy Boys. I asked them nicely 2 times to be quiet. The offending lady said something rude to me the third time I asked her not so nicely to be quiet. Fortunately, we were on the end of the aisle so I quietly popped out got the house manager and he came down told them to shut up or get out. Not a peep from the women behind me for the rest of the nigh . 

Dave28282 Profile PhotoDave28282 Profile Photo
Dave28282
Broadway Legend
joined:7/7/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/7/16

About the article, I assume the writer is banned from theatre after that? That is one of the most rude articles I have read. Who does the writer think she is?

"my mother is doing what black folks do at a musical, she sang along."

"And then from two rows in front of me, a balding white man turns towards my mother and says, “SHUSH!”

"This man shushed my mama?"

"When intermission hit, I walked up to that man."Was that you who shushed earlier?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, open and pleasant, as if he thought I was going to thank him for lending a hand to the larger, “well-trained” theater-going community.

“Please don’t shush my mother again. I just wanted to let you know that it was not kind what you did and if you shush her again, I’m going to sing along with her.” 

“Well,” he said, “I didn’t pay money to hear your mother sing.” 

"Oh, Black Jesus, help me. Was that a snub about my mama?"

"And so I said, “Let me tell you something—When you entered this theater, you entered into black culture. People will sing along. It’s what we do. And if you wanted a quiet theater, you should’ve seen My Fair Lady.”

When I went back to my seat, my mother asked, “What did you say to him?” And I told her. And she laughed and laughed. 


This author and her mother are 2 of the rudest people I have seen in a long time. I truly hope I will not encounter them in a theatre ever. Props to the gentleman fighting for decency and respect but it was a lost cause unfortunately. Because the gentleman was right, he did not pay this amount of money to hear her mother sing. The fact that he had to explain himself is bad enough. How extremely rude to try and silence this gentleman by saying "when he walked into the theatre he entered black culture". He did not. He visited a show he was interested in and he wanted to concentrate on the actual show.  I am wondering how other audience members reacted on this? Were these 2 racist ladies removed or fined afterwards? Did the gentleman take steps afterwards? The disdain for other people and races of this lady is unbelievable.

 

Updated On: 5/17/19 at 06:10 AM
Ben_Platt_Out
Chorus Member
joined:2/2/18
Chorus Member
joined:
2/2/18
No! I paid to hear the talent on stage only. Made the mistake of seeing a revival of Grease in Houston and left at intermission because the audience was drowning out the talent. I think movie theaters are making things worse by having “sing a long” screenings.
Izzi Hollenbeck
Swing
joined:11/2/17
Swing
joined:
11/2/17

NO. It's not a concert. It's not a sing-a-long. Its 100000000% rude. The other audience members did NOT come to the show to hear you sing. Even mouthing along is distracting. SO NO.

getupngo Profile Photogetupngo Profile Photo
getupngo
Featured Actor
joined:1/22/19
Featured Actor
joined:
1/22/19

why is this such a difficult concept for people? its broadway not f*****g karaoke lol

I groaned so loud when at SUMMER in the very beginning la chanze says " feel free to sing along" or some BS similar to that. I was like "oh lord I'm bout to fight somebody in this theatre today"

 

TravisOKC
Understudy
joined:12/14/15
Understudy
joined:
12/14/15

SomethingPeculiar said: "I will also add that if the creative team of the musical had intended for audiences to sing along as part of the show, something would have been incorporated into the libretto specifying that. (Probably as simple as an actor yelling "EVERYBODY!"So is it okay for audience members to sing along during musicals?"

 

Having not seen Hamilton, but having listened to the OBCR, I noticed towards the end of "You'll Be Back" George says "Everybody" does the audience join in with the da da dat da das???

LxGstv
Broadway Star
joined:11/22/16
Broadway Star
joined:
11/22/16

Dave28282, on the article she mentions that while her mother was being shushed, black and latinx audience members around her giggled in amusement of the white patron and his “audacity”.

Well, I’m actually a part of the Latino demographics and I would not be giggling with them, I would be telling them to just be quiet.

The most infuriating part of the article is when she brings up Hamilton, just because you can engage with the material on a different level, doesn’t mean you can act however you like in the theater.

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.

edit: here’s the tweet I mentioned: https://twitter.com/domorisseau/status/1124053294811426838?s=21

Updated On: 5/17/19 at 12:20 PM