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Apparently there are worse things than cell phone usage in the theatre

Islander_fan
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There's an article in the NY Times that talks about how there have been many times where the audience attending West End shows have gotten physically violent amongst patrons. And, one of the stories mentioned was about someone getting punched for telling a woman to turn off her phone. Goes to show, that, no matter how bad a situation is, there's always something worse going on elsewhere. 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/theater/body-cameras-london-west-end.html

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RippedMan
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At "Oklahoma!' on Tuesday the two ladies behind me kept opening endless wrappers and talking during the entire show. It was so distracting. Every thing elicited a comment. The people around me were getting annoyed as well. 

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NievesG
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Interesting read and this bit:

He blamed high ticket prices for the worsening conduct. “It puts so much pressure on a night out,” he said, “and the second something goes wrong it becomes a big emotional issue.”

Maybe because going to a show isn't a huge event for me since I live in NY but this is certainly a take on it. However, if spending a lot of money on a ticket is going to cause someone "emotional issues" if a minor detail goes wrong, something else is going on there.

On another note, don't know what is worse -- wrappers or non-stop coughing during the show. I should start carrying Ricolas with me to hand out.

Islander_fan
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As someone who attends Broadway shows, I think that I'd be more taken out of the moment if a fight broke out, than say, something along the lines of a crinkly candy wrapper, cell phone usage etc. 

And, as someone who works Broadway shows, I'd also rather deal with the same thing. At least I know I won't be risking getting punched in the process of stopping the aforementioned things. 

Broadway61004
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RippedMan said: "At "Oklahoma!' on Tuesday the two ladies behind me kept opening endless wrappers and talking during the entire show. It was so distracting. Every thing elicited a comment. The people around me were getting annoyed as well."

While I understand the reason for it, I think that's unfortunately one of the drawbacks of leaving the house lights on for this revival.  The audience suddenly feels more like they're at a chili cook-off with their friends rather than attending a Broadway show, and unfortunately some people get so swept up in that feeling that they start acting like they're just hanging out with friends instead of watching a musical.

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Pose2
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Theater etiquette must be taught at a young age apparently.  Because now we have children putting their bare feet on chairs, grown ass adults fighting, people thinking they can talk the whole show, non stop texting. Speak up and say something, it's the only way they will learn. 

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DoTheDood
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NievesG said: "On another note, don't know what is worse -- wrappers or non-stop coughing during the show. I should start carrying Ricolas with me to hand out."

I get hwy coughing is annoying, but wrappers are way worse. People can't control coughing, but people can control fiddling with a wrapper. The person could technically leave, but that's just as bad an interruption (unless you happen to have an aisle seat). Plus some shows won't let you back in so that could be a completely wasted ticket, so while it suck, it's really just better to bare it. 

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dramamama611
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I don't how getting naked will help anything.
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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Wick3
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From the stories I've heard, urinating in one's seat is worse than cell phone usage. Yes you paid $$$ to see the show but please go to the bathroom when needed. I don't even know how theaters clean these cushioned seats.

Fosse76
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Bad theater behavior is nothing more than the increasing amount of self-importance from certain individuals in society. You see it everywhere now. People believe that since they are the customer, they can do whatever they want. And since corporate mentality is to grease the squeaky wheel, these people almost always get away with it. No matter the truth of the situation, this type of customer will complain about their "negative" experience, and companies don't like that. I think you'd be shocked at how many bad theater patrons are appeased.

UncleCharlie
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Wick3 said: "From the stories I've heard, urinatingin one's seat is worse than cell phone usage. Yes you paid $$$ to see the show but please go to the bathroom when needed. I don't even know how theaters clean these cushioned seats."

I don't even need to hear anyone's stories. I think it's safe to say as a general rule, using your seat as a porta potty would be pretty high up there.

Impossible2
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Social media/24 hour news television and radio/Donald Trump/Brexit/Putin/all politicians - keeps most of society in a continued loop of negative emotional thinking ready to snap at any minute.

Cortisol levels are destroyed leaving people lethargic, mentally drained and suffering from minutely breakouts of C-PTSD.

Logical thinking has gone out the window and people live in a state of chaos.

Until you realise what is happening, start thinking logically and unplug x

Jmuep2
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I saw patrons get into a physical altercation when I went to AIN'T TOO PROUD in LA. 

 

It was hands down the most memorable part of that performance. 

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orangeskittles
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However, if spending a lot of money on a ticket is going to cause someone "emotional issues" if a minor detail goes wrong, something else is going on there.

I think paying $200/person to see a show and having it disrupted by some idiot with a phone can be more than a "minor detail going wrong". It has gotten a lot worse than a few errant phone rings or checking a text.

I still get heated at the memory of the see you next Tuesday who pulled out her blinding bright phone in center orchestra of a pitch black theatre during the very quiet, tense scene where Othello kills Desdemona. She checked her social media, then ordered an Uber. Then she started taking pictures of the shirtless actor. I could see it all from 4 rows back. It absolutely ruined the show for me. I wanted Othello to go after her next. Some behavior is not just disruptive, but flagrant disrespect towards everyone else in the audience and onstage.

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Updated On: 8/16/19 at 11:52 PM
LightsOut90
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at Hannah Gadsby show the other week this girl behind me and her boyfriend were CHOMPING their gum, like cows it was so unbelievably loud 

and can people really not sit for 75 minutes without thumbing their program through a super quiet play

also unless the words out of your mouth are "i am having a heart attack" or a variation NOTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY IS MORE IMPORTANT THEN THE PEOPLE TALKING ONSTAGE!!! 

ok im good now 

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Jordan Catalano
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In London a couple months ago, there was an all out fist fight during a West End show, I saw. That was a first for me.

And I know I’ve told this story before but when I saw “A Catered Affair” in 2008(?), I noticed something weird from the corner of my eye and looked over and saw the guy next to me was getting a hand job from the woman he was with.
Gizmo6
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I live in European so attend the West End frequently and luckily have not encountered this behaviour. I have heard about it. There’s a book called A Good Night out for Girls by academic Elaine Aston which talks about this type of Hen or batchelortte night out theatre which I try avoid.

I will say that I personally noticed the change in the security of the West End after the Paris attacks especially the Bataclan.

I think there’s a high risk and concern over a terror attack I. The West End than Broadway perhaps.

I worked in the West End during the days of the IRA and many bomb scares. Thankfully just scares.
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BuddyStarr
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Jordan Catalano said: "In London a couple months ago, there was an all out fist fight during a West End show, I saw. That was a first for me.

And I know I’ve told this story before but when I saw “A Catered Affair” in 2008(?), I noticed something weird from the corner of my eye and looked over and saw the guy next to me was getting a hand job from the woman he was with.
"

Was the show that “HOT”?

SisterGeorge
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orangeskittles said: " She checked her social media, then ordered an Uber. Then she started taking pictures of the shirtless actor.I could see it all from 4 rows back. It absolutely ruined the show for me. I wanted Othello to go after her next. Some behavior is notjust disruptive, but flagrant disrespect towards everyone else in the audience and onstage."

Did anyone closer to her do or say anything? I find the passiveness of people near the rude behavior almost as irritating as the behavior itself. People who don't do or say something are enablers, allowing things to get worse and worse. At a Aaron Tveit concert last year, a woman a several rows in front of us took out her phone and recorded all or parts of every single song during the entire second half. No one near her objected. On the other hand, at the last performance of All My Sons, a woman started taking pictures of Bening at her entrance, another woman behind her leaned over and put her hand in front of the camera, and the phone was put away for the remainder of the show.

 

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Pose2
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I agree, it's so bizarre if people are bothered by something, stand up and say something! You will feel so much better, and people will thank you. I do it at almost every show, and people constantly are thankful. I just wish they had the confidence to do it themselves. I'm so sick of ushers not doing their jobs. They need more training, actual security in the building, and a stricter policy. Phone out? Thrown out. NO REFUND.

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I will start this by saying I really don't want this to be an 'us/them' situation but do these audience 'disturbances' happen mostly in America?

In all my years of theatre going in Australia, yes of course I have had to tell someone to shut up, the audiences are respectful of the performance-they sit, watch, applaud, and leave and it's very rare that anyone would stage door.

From what I read on here, and this is my only point of reference, the filming the fighting etc etc in America becomes, should I go and risk these problems just to see a show?

Lack of consideration. It's all about ME and education by television is slowly eroding common decency that was passed down from the generations with a radio for entertainment and general knowledge.

You can no longer teach/tell-it really is out of control. 'People' have been given new found freedom to communicate by electronics and this is now breaking down the intimacy of connection and consideration.

I can go to the theatre here in Australia, for now, and be 99.9% sure we are all there for the same purpose-sit/watch/applaud.

Good luck trying to control those who won't conform.

 

dreamz
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I'm a cleaner at a Broadway theater they remove the seat and replace it when that happens.
djoko84
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My favorite thread on here is the Bad Theatre Behavior topic. If I'm paying good money for a show, I don't mind saying something to someone who is being too loud or annoying.

Alex Kulak2
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It's what Shakespeare would have wanted.

rosheider
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Coughing is not always involuntary.   You hear incessant coughing and hacking in concert halls all the time, even in the most intimate passages, and it seems to be growing.  My theory is that it is a way to inject oneself into the performance, for whatever psychological reasons.  As someone with aspy tendencies, I prefer to stay home and listen to recordings, rather than raise my blood pressure dealing with the tasteless cretins who pass for polite society today.