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

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Lot666
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Dancingthrulife2 said: "What about mouthing the lyrics?"

If this distracts you, I can only assume that you're watching the faces of the audience rather than the show.

 

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christinelavin
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At the end of his life, not many things could bring joy to my long-time love, but "South Pacific" could.  I nearly went broke buying tickets for it because it made him so happy.

Sometimes too happy. As anyone who's seen it knows, "Some Enchanted Evening" is one of the first songs that Emile DeBecque sings. This was the Lincoln Center production, with the golden voiced Paulo Szot, who won the Tony for lead actor in a musical. 

One night my beloved started singing along with Paulo -- loudly -- and he was a terrible singer to boot -- as everyone around us quickly "shushed" him.   He stopped, but looked around at all the shushers and said, in a loud stage whisper, "But I know all the words!" 

I squeezed his hand, and nodded my head giving him a look that told him I loved him but he should be quiet, and he got the message.  I apologized to our seat mates during intermission, where they could see he wasn't well, but could also see how much he loved being there.  It did make for an awkward moment, but I still tear up when I remember him saying, "But I know all the words!" 

Updated On: 5/30/19 at 02:58 AM
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SweetLips22 said: "I certainly hope that one day I will find the right occasion to use 'black hole of stupidity'--that is a GEM."

You can always use it to refer to our current White House. Thanks, SweetLips22.

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LizzieCurry said: "I really think it's case-by-case."

I also consider it on a case-by-case basis. There's definitely a lot to consider, so here's my opinion. When you're at the theatre, you’ve entered into the world of that show and should be respectful to both that world and the patrons around you. If it’s a show where participation is encouraged, like Summer, then (whether you like it or not) that is a part of the show’s world, and you would be quite the jerk if you shushed an audience member for singing along. If it’s not explicitly stated, then singling along is a big no-no.

In the case of this article, I haven’t seen Ain’t Too Proud so I can’t make an accurate judgement of who I feel would be in the wrong. If audience participation was actively encouraged during that particular performance (for example, via an announcement like the one in Summer), then the man definitely had no business shushing the author’s mother. If that wasn’t the case, though, then the guy was perfectly in the right, in my opinion. If it isn’t explicitly stated at the performance that audience participation is encouraged, then to be honest I don’t know how I feel about the tone of Dominique Morisseau’s tweet. Participation is not the norm for the vast majority of Broadway shows, and you can’t expect everyone to know that yours is different unless you make it obvious. Shockingly enough, not every audience member is gonna read the playwright’s tweets before seeing a show.

LxGstv
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Iíve seen Pipeline, which was a play written by Dominique Morisseau, there was actually a slip in the playbill stating the playwrights vision that theater isnít a space to sit and observe quietly, that participation was actually encouraged. I thought it was a bit weird at first, but afterwards I assumed it was because at one point during the play, the audience gets addressed like a classroom, so I just thought it was for that specific scene.
The show actually had a lot of quiet intimate moments and I could not imagine anyone reacting loudly to those parts. But I guess sheís ok with it if it happens and it interrupts the scene.

Much like Lot666, Iíll just avoid any future productions sheís involved with.
Jarethan
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I think that singing along with the songs is another illustration of how unpleasant it can be to attend certain performances. I paid to see the actor on-stage sing, not the off-key person two seats from me.  If I can reach the person, I admit to getting pretty ugly, and it usually works.

I know this should be in another subject, but on a similar note (distraction), I attended Tootsie last  week...and had the person behind me rattling a potato chip bag repeatedly through the first act.  Ugly looks did no good and I couldn't reach the person to tap on their shoulder (invading someone's personal space during a performance generally works...you get to enjoy the remainder of the performance, and also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have embarrassed the other person).  Sell, I was about to complain about the issue when I discovered that the theatre SELLS POTATO CHIPS.  So, you pay all that money, and can really be distracted because the theatre needed to make $25 more a performance.  As far as I am concerned, the person who sings along is just as bad, maybe mores, that the idiot rattling his / her bag far longer than it should take to finish the damn thing.

At least, no one will ever be singing along with the Tootsie songs...I am surprised that the performers are capable of singing some of those songs. 

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Lot666 said: "Dancingthrulife2 said: "What about mouthing the lyrics?"

If this distracts you, I can only assume that you're watching the faces of the audience rather than the show.


"

Read my FULL post before jumping to your smart-seeming, snarky comment.

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I mean, I read your FULL post and I had the same thought.

Updated On: 5/30/19 at 10:33 PM
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JudyDenmark said: "I am sitting here with my jaw on the ground that there are answers here other thanABSOLUTELY NOT.

So... absolutely not. Not in a jukebox musical, not in a classicmusical, not ever. Ever! How is this even a conversation?!?! People paid money to see the talented actors on stage, period.
"

 

I could not agree more. I saw this thread and didnt bother opening it because I was sure it was just 4000 clever ways to say "of course not." STUNNED to see that people here think there is any instance where I, who paid hundreds of dollars to see professional performers sing certain songs, should have to listen to YOU sing along in my ears because... you want to? How obnoxious and self-centered do you have to be to think ANYONE else wants to hear you sing? Even if you have a glorious voice, its distracting and irredeemably rude.  (I'm not a fan of jukebox musicals, so maybe I am missing the point here, but since we can always hear the original music at home, we are paying to hear talented people sing these songs in a new/different way- seems even more ridiculous that sing-alongs would be welcome in that setting.) 

To be fair, I've never really encountered this except at RENT a few times-- and each time I was one of many who quickly and angrily shut them up. But whether its Cher or Mamma Mia or a monologue from King Lear, no one- really no one- wants to hear you sing. Once you accept that reality, singing along because you want to is really quite selfish. 

 

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Dancingthrulife2 said: "Lot666 said: "Dancingthrulife2 said: "What about mouthing the lyrics?"

If this distracts you, I can only assume that you're watching the faces of the audience rather than the show.
"

Read my FULL post before jumping to your smart-seeming, snarky comment.
"

I did read your FULL post before responding, and I maintain that if you're watching the faces of other audience members instead of the performers, then you probably chose the wrong show.

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

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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denali.fire
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Gee.  I stand up and tap dance along with the music.  I see nothing wrong with it because I spend my money for a seat and I can do what I want when I want because it's all about ME !

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Updated On: 6/1/19 at 10:12 AM