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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Theatrical Pet Peeve II: Shhhhhh!

OK, we've all had this happen when we've been to a show: it is either a well-known revival, a long-running show and/or it has been made into a hit movie while the show is still running, and people all around you are doing one of the following (or worse, all of them at the same time!):
  1. They are singing along! And I don't mean quietly mumbling the words or mouthing the words. I mean full-out singing. They think because they aren't belting they aren't loud or annoying. Guess what? They think wrong!
  2. They are reciting favorite bits of dialogue as the show goes on! And I mean word for word, with the same tone and inflection. They think they are enjoying all of it in their heads or just with their companion. Guess what? They think wrong!
  3. They are stymied because the dialogue and/or song on the stage is somehow different than (a) the movie version, (b) the version they did at their high school, (c) "that song is after "x song" in the movie, (d) "on the CD there's no talking in the middle of "Popular!" How are we supposed to know when to start singing again?" or (e) any combination of a - d!
  4. The stars on the "soundtrack" are so much better than so and so replacement! And I mean a full discourse on how the original was better and why, and "how could they ever hire x actress after y actress left the show."

To those of you who do this, this ruining the live experience for the rest of us, please remember:

  1. You are not at home talking back to your TV.
  2. You do not have the right to sing along, unless the show calls for it, like "No Time at All" from Pippin, or the "mega-mix" at the end of Mamma Mia!
  3. Live performance is just that - LIVE - and therefore, even if all of the originals from the "soundtrack" are still in the show, the performance will vary.
  4. We are all glad you love theatre and that you played Eliza Doolittle in 10th grade. Brava! to you. However, we paid to see the Broadway revival, NOT to listen to you warble "I Could Have Danced All Night." First, you aren't as good as when you were in 10th grade. And second, if you want to do the show, audition for it, don't do it from the seats.

Don't get me started on the pickle/deli sandwich burps during matinees or the "I'd rather be home watching the Yankees" moaning at an evening show...

Share your pet peeves with us! Comment below.

Jeff

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