Bad theatre manners

August 18, 2012
Seated in front of me at the play, Clybourne Park

Really? To the theatre?

It was unfortunate that this woman decided to wear her ruffly hair decor to the theatre in NYC the other day and even more unfortunate that she was seated directly in front of me.

I considered asking her to remove it, until I looked more closely (who could miss it) and saw it was bobby-pinned into her carefully coiffed up-do. Terrible theatre etiquette.

Clybourne Park was a sharp, witty look at the issue of race and although it seemed a little slow at first, it had the audience crazy with laughter, some of it the uneasy, wince-inducing kind you make during pointed social commentary that hits the mark precisely so sharply it stings.

None of the characters are likable and there’s enough verbal sparring to keep the two hours+ moving quickly along. Audience members were surprised, shocked and horrified, but they laughed. I think we recognized a little of ourselves in some of it.

This isn’t really a review of Clybourne Park, but it IS a recommendation. If you’re anywhere near Broadway, do go.

But do NOT sit behind this woman. Or if you do, don’t hesitate to ask her to remove it. You probably shouldn’t yank it out yourself.

What’s the rudest thing that’s happened to you at the theatre or the movies, or even a concert?

4 comments on “Bad theatre manners
  1. Anonymous says:

    During a Sunday matinee of “Doubt”, on Broadway, at the absolute climax of this highly climactic story, in the silent space between lines, a cell phone rang, and rang and rang. No one moved to silence it, surely the perpetrator of this crime was horrified and fearful of being recognized as the guilty party. The entire theater, actors and audience alike, flinched at this breathtakingly terrible breach. After a moment the actors resumed, professional to the extreme, and the play concluded within just a few lines. It remains to my sister and me the single-most unfortunate breach of etiquette ever witnessed. It colors my entire recollection of the play, which is still the most spell-binding drama I have seen on any stage. I’m sure everyone who was in the theater that day remembers this event.

  2. Rickatoo says:

    I love the people at a concert that stand next to you and dance well outside their alloted space, forcing you over the seats or out of the row

  3. Anonymous says:

    A woman directly in front of me started touching her hair before the performance got started. I hoped it was only going to be a brief interlude, but it continued throughout the first act. Her hair was below the shoulders and she kept flipping it to either side and running her fingers through it. So distracting. Fortunately, we could move before the nexxt act. Not as lucky in Paris recently. I was at a one-man show and the woman in my sight line did the same thing. Really inconsiderate!

  4. Yes, people seem to think it’s ok to invade personal space at a concert.

    That Doubt story–I’m not sure there’s anything worse than that cell phone ringing. People can be so rude.

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