Saturday, October 17, 2009

SHUT UP! And I Mean That In The Nicest Possible Way

Last night, my husband and I headed into the big city to see South Pacific. The economy being what it is, and time being at the highest premium, I debated long and hard before I dragged him to see this show.

Usually I splurge a little bit on the tickets. This time I didn't. We sat in the balcony, and while the seats weren't too particularly bad, I had the experience of sharing my experience with a Grandmother and her eight year old.

I am a mother of three and all for taking your kids to the theater. However, if you take your 8 year old boy to the Friday night performance, please use a LITTLE etiquette. do not go to the show and proceed to TALK the entire time explaining the show. Loudly.

Then, the teenager next to me began to text furiously on his cell phone. The show was not a stellar production, the lead actress carried almost the entire performance, but Whoa Nellie, you also do not text during the show.

Do not act in ways during a live performance that would get you shushed in a movie. Have some respect for the actors and for the people who paid good money to actually see and hear the show.

***********Optional Reading. Warning! High Horse Personal Advice*************
Well, I'm a big talker, but, here's some advice to that grandmother:

a. If you're taking your kid to the theater, rent the movie first. He will know the plot, the characters and possibly recognize the songs. You can talk talk talk and answer answer answer questions again and again in the comfort of your own home.

b. If you rent the video, you will know how interested your kid is in the actual performance. If your kid can't sit through the video, it's not likely he's going to make it through the first act squinting at people the size of peanuts from the balcony in the theater.

c. Discuss theater etiquette before you get there. This is like anything else. You do not run and scream in a library. You do not talk during the performance.

d. If you have a question, please use a quiet voice. Whisper to each other. Cup your hand and speak into the other person's ear. Even better, wait until a scene change or applause to discuss a concern or question.

e. I realize we all might have questions. Ask your question. Do not "chat" endlessly.

I would have been fine with a few questions. I love kids, I'm a mom and a teacher. The thing is, I really wanted that kid and his grandma to have a good time. I just felt like it was the adult that was setting the poor example.


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I agree!! I saw it myself in NYC and loved it. But, I would not take my kids to see it!! I can barely stand to sit with them in a movie that is a cartoon they are so loud!!

Under the Influence said...

I recently went to an all day movie marathon with friends. A guy in the row in front of us and about five seats down had on his Bluetooth with that annoying blue light flashing EVERY.FIVE.SECONDS. I finally put up my hand as a blinder. Eventually, someone went to get an usher who made him come to turn it off. It was such a relief!

Jennifer said...

Yes, yes, yes! I have been onstage watching rude theater patrons sitting in the front row TALKING ON THEIR CELL PHONES! I have also heard cell phones going off during critical scenes and answering their calls and talking! Goodness gracious people, you're not at home watching TV! Use some common sense!

Helene said...

I totally agree!! I'm always shocked at some of the behavior I've seen at performances. I purposely didn't take Bella to see the Nutcracker live until last year when she had watched the Barbie Nutcracker a million times and I felt she was old enough to sit through the performance and really appreciate it. But I saw tons of kids who clearly were not old enough to see it and they chattered through the whole thing and ran through the aisles at one point.

San Diego Writer Girl said...

I agree and then some! I feel that there is simply widespread disrespect everywhere you look -- road rage, people talking on their cell phones instead of driving or within hearing distance of people who are trying to dine, read, study, pray, act, watch and even get married. You see flaming on the internet. Parents get into screaming matches at their kids' soccer games. We live in a rude society. It's sad but true. Common decency is a thing of the past. I would have been just as annoyed as you are.