In the five years that I lived in Boston, I worked at a theater (like plays and musicals, not movies and stale popcorn). During my time there, I witnessed the entire gamut of theater patrons. Unfortunately, I had to interact with all of them, which 60% of the time was the worst, but 40% of the time, people were actually pleasant.
However, now that I don’t have to talk annoying people at the theater, I now have to sit in the same area as these people. My friend and I have a subscription to one of the major theaters here in LA, which means literally anyone can show up as your seat neighbor. The last time we went, it seemed like every single possible theater patron stereotype was in a 10 foot radius of me. Here are just a few of the annoying people that need to calm da fuck down and enjoy the show.
The Higher the Hair/Hat, the Closer to God
This woman sat two rows in front of me the other night. It looked like an Adele style bouffant with three peacock feathers sticking out from it.
Folks, you’re going to a venue where people will be sitting behind you. This is not a new concept. So don’t act like your beehive hair or top hat (you know, if you find yourself in the 1920s) will not be a nuisance.
Kick Line Clapper
Without fail, any time there is kick line in a show, there will be at least one person who finds it so impressive that they start clapping. CLAPPING. FOR KICKS. If you are watching anyone but the Rockettes, don’t feel obliged to audibly reveal your astonishment.
The worst people to possibly sit behind you are the ones who talk throughout the show. They’re usually confused about what’s happening, and feel the need to talk to their friend about it. For example: ‘What did she say?’ ‘I don’t know, I don’t think it was in English.’ ‘They need to pronunciate.’ ‘No, what they need is to turn up the microphones.’ ‘Turn UP the microphones? This is too loud as it is!’ ‘Who’s that?’ ‘I think that’s her husband.’ ‘I thought she was dating the other guy?’ ‘She is.’ ‘What a whore.’ Also under this category: Ethel the old biddie.
The worst people to sit next to you? The couple that can’t keep their hands off each other. Listen guys, I get that this is a romantic date night for you, but I really don’t fancy being in a threesome with y’all at the theater (or outside the theater).
Just take out your cough drops and Werther’s Originals before the show, and have it then. Or think ahead and unwrap it so you don’t have to make so much noise digging around in your purse. Sound travels.
Hey, you’re a high school senior who hopes to be a musical theater major in college? Don’t audition for the people around you, we don’t want to hear you sing Defying Gravity when there’s a perfectly good Elphaba on stage.
The artistic director at the theater I worked at in Boston gives a curtain speech at the top of the show every night. The staff (and most of the subscribers) have heard his spiel hundreds of times, and he basically recites the same thing every night. “If you have a cell phone, a pager, or anything else that beeps on the hour, please turn it off for the duration of the show. And remember – texting is just as odious.” There are people who legit sit in the back of the theater and text throughout the show, and think it’s ok. IT’S NOT.