Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sit Down. No, SIT DOWN.

Well, now I remember why I don't go to the theatre that much anymore.

Of course, thiose of you who know me realize that I my ownself am an actor and like to keep as busy as possible. Seriously. Fiorello! ended on July 20 and since then it's been the first time since last August that I've been without a show, and I really don't know what to do with myself sometimes.

So my good (and old, well not old, but I've known him for 20 years as of November) friend Mike is the Business Manager up at Light Opera Works in Evanston, where he and I met and worked lo those many years ago. We both started in the chorus and worked up to small speaking and compromario roles, then shared stage as comic featured players a couple of times. Anyway, he knows I know Gilbert and Sullivan and he asked me to do LOW's "balcony talk" lecture for the show they just closed, the G&S masterpiece Iolanthe. Long story shortish, I ripped it up in the balcony, and today he asked me to stay and see the show. (For free, y'all. Like I was a Caesar.) Any way.

I sit down, and get my USDA recommended daily reminder why I HATE going to the theatre. Two women, who had obviously bought their tickets (or someone had), and LOW tickets are not exactly cheap, off-Loop affairs, commenced to talking during the overture. After not really talking beforehand at all. I shushed them firmly and definitively, and it worked pretty much, until the second act when the M&Ms came out. Ten minutes before the end of the show. Seriously, you can't wait ten fucking minutes to eat your M&Ms? In the little bag? Seriously? And then, of course, because they suck, these two, they got up to leave before the curtain call even started. I was on the aisle and I wouldn't move for them. I refused to get up, and of course they bitched and moaned. I also got the feeling that if I hadn't got up to let them in at the start of Act II that they'd still be waiting for me to see them and get up.

Because people suck. It wasn't just these two, of course. It was everybody walking around and sitting and standing and moving around like they're at home, watching the fucking thing on TV. And these are not young people, these are not idiots or babes in the woods like the stupid 20-something co-workers of one of the guys in Fiorello! one evening. These are adults, who I assume have all ben to the theatre before. I understand that old is old (and a lot of the LOW audience is indeed, shall we say, advanced) and the bladder and the sphincter and the oxygen and the hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrn, as Jerry Lewis would say, but God damn it. You paid for your ticket, but you didn't pay for my ticket. This time, neither did I, but they didn't fucking know that.

It's different at movies; not only is the live connection out of the equation but I usually see movies at 1 in the afternoon on a Monday, with maybe 6 other people, and it's easy to move around or shush people in that case. And if it's a big movie I want to see on a big weekend, like a Spider-Man or The Dark Knight, well, if it's a rollicking theatre full of crazies, that kind of movie is meant to be consumed at a high degree of volume anyway. ( I saw Spidey 2 the Monday night after it opened. With many folks. We had a great time. Dark Knight I saw the Monday afternoon after the meshugaas subsided. I think it was the first non-sellout, non-insane showing of it.) I think literally the only time I've ever had to move at a movie was at the first Harry Potter, when some asshole dad wouldn't shut the fuck up on his phone. There were only 5 or so of us in the theatre anyway. So moving, no problem. But a full house of paying customers at a live event? No soup for you, bitches. Grow up, get real, wake the fuck up.

That's why I don't go to the theatre so much anymore. Dammit.


At 3:42 PM, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

We were just chatting about this the other night; a friend of ours was complaining about people on their cell phones at the movie theater. Some of it has to do with relative lack of cost; I assume at much more expensive films and shows--IMAX, Wicked, etc--people are less prone to babbling and all that other b.s. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we do all suck.


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