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Rules on how to behave in the theatre


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#196 Birdsall

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:48 AM

I find it hard to believe that someone doesn't realize it is his own phone, but I know that my Grandfather had a hearing aide that would make hearing in certain places with different acoustics to throw off his hearing. Maybe it is a case like that. Who knows? The cell phones going off problem is really annoying. Maybe they should make the auditorium a dead zone. I think they can do things like that nowadays, but maybe making an auditorium a dead zone would not stop the phone alarm clock. Also, maybe some crazy emergency in the auditorium would be even worse if nobody could call 911 due to it being a dead zone. I don't know what the answer is.

#197 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:46 AM

The time I witnessed Michael Tilson doing just that, stopping mid-performance and not only turning back and scream at the offender, but also hitting loudly his music paper with the baton, I felt so embarrassed, even if it wasn't me. It just occurred to me that musicians think of just two sides, their side and our side, the audience side...so just for the fact of being on the other side of the stage I somehow felt as a part of the offense. It was horrible, and after that the performance just wasn't the same...some of the magic was broken.

#198 Birdsall

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:54 AM

The time I witnessed Michael Tilson doing just that, stopping mid-performance and not only turning back and scream at the offender, but also hitting loudly his music paper with the baton, I felt so embarrassed, even if it wasn't me. It just occurred to me that musicians think of just two sides, their side and our side, the audience side...so just for the fact of being on the other side of the stage I somehow felt as a part of the offense. It was horrible, and after that the performance just wasn't the same...some of the magic was broken.


You are right. It is hard to get back into "the zone" when there is a disturbance even for audience members. I think I am a little A.D.D. so jangling bracelets or candy wrappers distract me and make it hard to enjoy a performance, especially when people draw out unwrapping their candy thinking they are making less noise by unwrapping it slowly. Instead, they are making noise for a much longer period. I would rather they do it as fast as they can. Things that are unavoidable like coughing do not bother me as much, but things that people could have prepared for (turned off phones, unwrapped candy and popped it in ahead of time, etc) really distract me. Before Rheingold (2 hours 45 minutes with no intermission) or first act of Götterdämmerung (2 hours) I unwrap cough drops and wrap them in a handkerchief so I can access them noiselessly during the performance if my throat gets dry!

Years ago there was a commercial where a Brünnhilde-like opera singer was singing, and a cell phone went off, so she threw the spear and hit the phone with it! That made me laugh! I am sure it is very distracting for performers, and I do think the conductors get so sick of it.

#199 Helene

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:03 AM

This guy sounds sincerely apologetic, but he doesn't explain why he didn't immediately take out his phone and figure out how to silence it. It doesn't take five minutes to figure out whose phone is ringing when it's your own, even if you thought you'd turned it off.


The default iPhone ring is common -- I hear it go off in the bus on a regular basis -- and I've been in the theater where a phone starts ringing and a row of people jump to look in the purse under their seat or in the coat they are sitting on. (I would never look in my purse if the ringtone wasn't familiar.) I've also seen people around someone's ringing phone nudge or glare them into checking. There was no group action that was reported, possibly because people were sitting so close.

A man in the front was coughing extensively at the beginning of a piece pianist Andras Schiiff was playing at Meany Hall (University of Washington) in Seattle. Schiff stopped, said something like, "When you're finished, we'll start", and walked off the stage.

#200 California

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:28 AM

Some of you might remember ABT's performance at the Kennedy Center Tuesday, December 9, 1980. John Lennon had been murdered the night before and the announcer called for a minute of silence in his honor before the program began. But they forgot to tell the stagehands, who yelled loudly throughout the minute as if nothing was happening.

#201 kfw

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:10 AM


This guy sounds sincerely apologetic, but he doesn't explain why he didn't immediately take out his phone and figure out how to silence it. It doesn't take five minutes to figure out whose phone is ringing when it's your own, even if you thought you'd turned it off.


The default iPhone ring is common -- I hear it go off in the bus on a regular basis -- and I've been in the theater where a phone starts ringing and a row of people jump to look in the purse under their seat or in the coat they are sitting on. (I would never look in my purse if the ringtone wasn't familiar.)


Yes, maybe that's why he didn't check - not because he was embarrassed to be identified, but because the phone was new and he hadn't heard its alarm before and so assumed it must be coming from someone nearby. In any case, it's sad this happened to a 20-year subscriber.

#202 Jayne

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:45 PM

I think theaters need to come up with some sort of blocking system that disables cell phones altogether. Would be equally useful at concentration-oriented sports events like tennis and golf.

#203 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:04 PM

I think theaters need to come up with some sort of blocking system that disables cell phones altogether. Would be equally useful at concentration-oriented sports events like tennis and golf.


Exactly...and if someone is just expecting from second to second for a huge emergency to happen, better not to go out and just stay home and watch vigilantly the possible event-to-be really close.

#204 Birdsall

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:21 AM

At the L.A. Ring some huge guy behind me fell asleep and snored loudly. I actually got a kick out of that and laughed to myself. I mean, I LOVE Wagner's Ring, but there are stretches of it that are long winded!!! It made me laugh.

So I think if the disruptions are normal (like coughing) or accidental like snoring, I can ignore and/or tolerate. I have to say I don't understand how someone can have jangly bracelets or earrings that make noise and not realize that they irritate people though. Same with unwrapping candy slowly. What are these people thinking? Or maybe they simply aren't thinking.

Anyway, the noises that could have been avoided are the worst ones in my book. I even was okay with someone at an opera with some sort of breathing device that made whooshing air noises b/c I figured the person is ill and this is one of the few joys he can have right now, etc. Basically, I try to be tolerant of most things, but I hate the noise caused by inconsiderate or oblivious people.

I keep my iPhone on silent at all times, b/c I just don't like to be bothered. I check it enough during the day to respond back to a text or call when I am ready to receive voicemails or texts. And this comes in handy when I go to opera or ballet. I know my phone is already on silent. And when the announcement comes on to silence your phones I actually look and double check that my phone is turned off even though it always is 24/7.

#205 Helene

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:52 PM

An old college friend just posted this link this to Facebook:

http://www.dailymail...bile-phone.html

Scroll down to hear it.

#206 bart

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:13 AM

A classy response indeed. It makes the point that the phone noise or not just an interruption; it is a form of musical competition as well.

#207 Birdsall

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

No cell phones went off last night at Miami City Ballet's Program 2 at the Kravis Center, but I noticed a woman wearing short shorts or Daisy Dukes with high heels!!!! I think she had a t-shirt style shirt, Daisy Dukes that had a jean texture, and red high heels. How does someone dress like that and think it is appropriate for the ballet??? In my opinion, that wasn't an outfit appropriate for any event. It isn't what you'd wear to the beach, the mall, the movies, or anyplace. Not even a bar or nightclub! I think it goes to the top of fashion flops I have ever seen! Maybe different shoes would have made it okay for yard work!

#208 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

No cell phones went off last night at Miami City Ballet's Program 2 at the Kravis Center, but I noticed a woman wearing short shorts or Daisy Dukes with high heels!!!! I think she had a t-shirt style shirt, Daisy Dukes that had a jean texture, and red high heels. How does someone dress like that and think it is appropriate for the ballet??? In my opinion, that wasn't an outfit appropriate for any event. It isn't what you'd wear to the beach, the mall, the movies, or anyplace. Not even a bar or nightclub! I think it goes to the top of fashion flops I have ever seen! Maybe different shoes would have made it okay for yard work!


Hey...and be grateful that she was wearing heels at least. It could have been worse, like flip-flops...

#209 Birdsall

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 06:24 AM


No cell phones went off last night at Miami City Ballet's Program 2 at the Kravis Center, but I noticed a woman wearing short shorts or Daisy Dukes with high heels!!!! I think she had a t-shirt style shirt, Daisy Dukes that had a jean texture, and red high heels. How does someone dress like that and think it is appropriate for the ballet??? In my opinion, that wasn't an outfit appropriate for any event. It isn't what you'd wear to the beach, the mall, the movies, or anyplace. Not even a bar or nightclub! I think it goes to the top of fashion flops I have ever seen! Maybe different shoes would have made it okay for yard work!


Hey...and be grateful that she was wearing heels at least. It could have been worse, like flip-flops...



Cristian,
I actually think the bizarre element of her outfit would have vanished if she had worn flip flops. It would have been inappropriate still but at least the shoes would have matched her outfit! LOL
To me an equivalent outfit would have been if I showed up in a speedo, tshirt and sport coat!!! That's how bizarre I found her outfit! LOL
Bart B.

#210 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:19 AM

I don't think I've been to a live performance recently (either Broadway or ballet) where I wasn't bothered by the lights from at least one person's cell phone. I'd steal a look and there they'd be merrily tweeting or texting away. Okay, it's marginally better than talking on a cell phone, but it's still very annoying in a darkened theater. Why do any of us in the audience have to put up with this? Could theaters have a rule that anyone texting or talking on their cellphone will be given one warning, then removed from the theater? Is that legal to do? America is becoming a society where more and more people only see their own needs and wants. They seem to have less and less idea how to get along with everyone else.


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