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Wow.   I have never had so many people refuse to see my point, and try to refute what they think I'm saying.  I'm not going to try to explain what I mean any more.  If you want to believe that there is no unifying factor in US society that cuts across and is the foundation upon which all social mores and local customs are built, so be it.  

(I am in a super-bitch bad mood today; don't take a thing I say seriously.  I love you all and value your opinions, I really do.)

Moving on.

Bob and I went to see Spamalot last night, and it was really great.  Not so great was the silly little cow behind me who talked through most of the first act, and called me a c*nt after I asked her to be quiet for the third time in act 2.  She was one of those dreadfully dreary twenty-somethings who talks loudly in an effort to impress anyone who is listening, so I got to hear that she thinks "humour" is her hobby (she needs to get a new one; she has no talent for it), and that the Double T Diner is the height of gourmet food.  

This is one of the reasons I'm not more gung-ho about seeing live performances; there's a serious lack of manners going on.  So I didn't try to avoid blocking her view of the stage for the rest of the performance, and sat up and forward so I could see everything on stage.

It's funny; it used to be an absolute that you didn't speak ever during a performance.  If you had to communicate something, you'd whisper very quietly directly into someone's ear.  Now, it seems that it's perfectly acceptable to carry on a conversation louder than the performers on stage, because clearly, everyone has paid $50 to come and listen to your deep thoughts on how cool you are for liking pre-frozen stale pastries.

(Back in Shakespeare's time, people went to the theatre to socialize; the actors were often attempting to perform against a backdrop of constant talking.  However, the actors were allowed to make rude gestures at the audience.)

It's a shame; the performance was a really good time otherwise.  If you order a drink at the bar, though, be prepared to pay New York prices for a plastic cup of liquor (at least they free pour).  In general, I like the National Theater; it has a nice look (not quite as frou-frou as the Warner), the seats are reasonably comfortable, and the acoustics do not suck.  The performance was funny, the actors were good, and the Spamalot Playbill is hysterical (intentionally and unintentionally - I've never seen so many actor's bios thanking God).

But I'm apparently a c*nt for wanting to enjoy all that uninterrupted by someone who thinks they're clever for saying the lines a fraction of a second before they're said on stage.

Look sweetie, we all know "Holy Grail".  It's been out since 1975.  Like many cult movies, its afficionados have seen it enough times to memorize all the dialogue.  No-one cares if you know the whole thing, it's just tiresome.  While the people on stage are funny when they say their lines (as they have been specially trained to be), you, my little child, are not.  You are like the guy who says the last word of every joke after the comedian has said it.  You are like the person who laughs loudly and knowingly when the big in-joke (that is more of an out-joke, since everyone knows it) comes, so that everyone knows you, and you alone, truly appreciate the humour inherent in the moment.

Basically, we all came to see the people on the stage, not you.  Shut the fuck up.

Comments

( 37 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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isabelladangelo
Jan. 3rd, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
Did you at least chew her out? I would have gotten up, gotten a manager, and demanded that the witch be thrown out plus my money back for having to put up with her dribble during the performance. Of course, normally one of my glares tends to silence anyone that crosses me. Ah, the beauty of being an older sister, you learn the "Look" quickly and never forget how and when to use it. ...and I'm one of those 20-somethings....
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
She shut up after that, so I let it go. But I'm writing a letter to the National to suggest that they make an announcement about "no talking!!!!eleventy!!!" before the performance; it seems that they're so busy telling people to turn off their cell phones, that people have forgotten they're not supposed to talk even if they don't actually have a cell. :)

(But she was a total loser, so life will punish her badly.)
(no subject) - isabelladangelo - Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
damedini
Jan. 3rd, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
Oy! I like the old stories where the big name actor (Olivier?) stops the performance and chews the person talking out. Sadl, if they did that these days they'd be so busy there wouldn't be time for a performance.

But she is definitely one of those peope you have to point at and laugh.
vom_schwarzwald
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)
Ugly word
I recently had to use the "cold stare" in a movie theater on some kids that kept getting in and out of their seats so they could keep going in and out of the theater. For some reason people find a stare from me to be disconcerting. I think the grunt of exasperation coupled with it is what made them leave and stay out...
pirategirleee
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you had to deal with that BS at Spamalot. I feel your pain. I bet it was the same cow(s) that sat behind me when I went to see Avenue Q. They kept yelling (WOOOOOT!) like it was a football game at every little thing. Ya know...most people laugh at the jokes...but no...these idiots yelled. My ears were literally ringing. Oh and then they kept dropping stuff on me and my friends...cell phones...their purses...a candybar...the play bill.

I think it should be completely legal to take such morons out during intermission and shoot them. Or at least give them severe indian burn.....
thatpotteryguy
Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
Shoot them gently but firmly in the head.

It's called the "needed killing" doctrine of justifiable homicide. Right-thinking people see it as a public service.
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - isabelladangelo - Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - serenalyons - Jan. 3rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greta_k - Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greta_k - Jan. 3rd, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Jan. 4th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belfebe - Jan. 4th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
landverhuizer
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
and here I was thinking people just did that at live music performance, and not just rock concerts *sigh*
(it has been a while for plays or concerts though)
...
anselmatthews
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, the rudeness!
And what happened to closing the theater doors at curtain call? Catherine almost got her foot broken (and I had a lady plop her carcass down on my lap) by a couple of ladies that decided to come and squeeze past us to get to their seats 10 minutes into The Nutcracker.

attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, the rudeness!
We had that, too - the overture had started, people were still coming in. The voice intro started, people were still coming in. It's a courtesy to the performers, as well. *grumble*
Re: Oh, the rudeness! - pinkleader - Jan. 3rd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
rolanddem
Jan. 3rd, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
I still love the one time at the Landsburgh when someone's cell phone went off and the players froze and then everyone on stage just stared at the person until it stopped. They then reset and proceeded on with the show.

The rudeness of others is part of the reason I don't see many movies in the theater anymore....
ladypyrate
Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Several years ago I got to see Whoopi Goldberg on Broadway during her run in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". After the first number was finished, the Ushers allowed some late comers to be seated, and of course two of them werte fist row.

Whoopi stopped. Loked at them.. Looked at her wrist, tapped her imaginary watch and said "Glad you could join us. we were Worried about you. It's a small house you know.."

thatpotteryguy
Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
"the Double T Diner is the height of gourmet food"

At this, I nearly spewed tea all over my shiny new laptop. I mean, eeewwwww....the Frederick branch of this establishment, at least, it the last refuge of the desperate at 2:30 am when Mountain View has an hour wait - lousy food, high prices, and Authentic Surly Eastern European waitstaff, many of whom appear to be associated with the Russian Mafia.
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
I like them when I am in the mood for breakfast (and the heady reek of Russian black market cigarettes). They are slightly better than i-hop, and not as greasy as Denny's (at least, the one in Glen Burnie used to be okay), but good food? No.

And now I think I prefer i-hop's bacon and egg cheeseburger if I'm going to eat disgusting fried food.

Their pastries, though? Ugh. Shipped frozen, thawed, left to sit. Dreadful things.
xntryk
Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
At the risk of bringing up a sore subject... isn't learning not to talk during the movies and at theater performances, another case of class and manners?

(ducks)

hey -- really now! I was raised on the principal "children are to be seen and not heard." I don't think I'll be using quite that approach on my kids, but there's no reason not to teach them they can be still, quiet, and attentive for two to three hours. And I don't think it's asking too much for adults to do the same.
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
It is absolutely a distinction of class, as in a person who is aware of social mores. Socio-economic level? No. I see people who think they're "all that" because they are at a higher socio-economic level be horribly rude all the time (customers_suck is an excellent repository for tales of the complete lack of classiness perpetuated by the moneyed).

This is Miss Manners territory more than anything - when everyone has paid to enjoy a show, everyone should not be disturbed by those who think the show is purely for their benefit. People of all caste levels with any sensitivity and social awareness can get this.

This girl had no class, despite her ability to pay $45-60 for seats to a show. Her date (if he was that), laughed loudly and frequently, but it's a comedy; I don't care about that. She was the obnoxious one.
(no subject) - stitchwhich - Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
ladypyrate
Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
My Mom used to work at a regional theatre up in NJ, and she said that the audiences are getting worse every year. Even the so-called "Cultured Theatregoer" (symphony/ballet crowd, rather than the Kevin Smith Crowd) are sorely lacking in manners. I think it's a combination of many things.

-Not many people go to the theatre anymore, so they do not know *how* to behave. Most of the time kids are turned loose in a movie theatre, with no guidance, and they translate that experience to live theatre.

-Most shows now are pop culture/movie ripoffs (Xanadu, Footloose, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Color Purple, Spamalot)or the dreaded "catalog musical" (Mamma Mia, Movin' Out, Jersey Boys). Further re-enforcing the bad behaviors picked up at laxer venues, such as the movies and rock shows.

-Culture of Entitlement. People feel that they have the right to behave in any wayt they wish, even if it infringes on the comfort, enjoyment or tolerance of those around them. (The twit talking on the cell phone in the movies, the idiot that lates their kids roll around in heeleys at Wal-Mart, the jerk that takes up both armrestst on your flight)

Personally, knowing the cost of tickets to shows like this, I would have gotten an Usher, and sent a strong complaint to theatre management...
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Complaint has been sent. :) Act 2 was already in progress, and I didn't want to ruin the night for Bob (and me!), so I didn't get an usher. If she'd done it during the first act, you can bet I'd have gotten an usher (or the manager) and had her thrown out.
mistressrhi
Jan. 3rd, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
The "C" word would have had me out of my seat in a heartbeat. I'd have settled for nothing less than her being thrown out, which actually, is probably the only way she'd learn her lesson.
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
It was a toss up between causing a worse fuss, thereby disturbing the people around us, and mocking her after we left (and sending a complaint to the theatre). Like I said above, if she'd done it during act 1, I (or Bob) would have gotten her thrown out. But act 2 had already started, and I wanted to watch. :)
grian_ruadh
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
Your aggravation is perfectly justified. You probably would have had the immediate gratitude of the surrounding seats had you actually had her thrown out. If she was annoying you, it's a pretty sure thing that she was annoying everyone else in the vicinity.

Being a theatre professional, SO much work goes into putting on a show that clueless morons who think that their running commentary on the show, life, the universe and everything all the way through a performance is more entertaining than the performance itself are hated by everyone involved. There's an immense satisfaction to tossing someone out on their ass who is wrecking a performance for everyone and pissing off the cast and crew. I've thrown a few unruly teenagers out myself and, in one case, a 50-something man who called one person after another after another to repeat, loudly, a joke from earlier in the play as though it were the funniest thing he'd ever heard and the play was on pause while he did so. At this point, I am impervious to abuse from such morons. I don't care what they call me, they're still leaving.

All told though, I'm far too entrenched in the arts to give up live performances for the sake of avoiding idiocy. I'm not going to miss out on the transient moments of the sublime to be found in live theatre just because human beings are frequently beyond stupid in crowds. The experience is worth the aggravation. :)
chargirlgenius
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
You definitely should have done [this], and were I in your situation I surely would have done [that]. Since I wasn't there, I can say it with the utmost confidence.

:-p


Edited at 2008-01-03 04:53 pm (UTC)
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Heh. In my head, she's a smoking pile of rubble. In reality, the National has received a letter of complaint, and she has indigestion from eating at the Double T Diner.

What can I say? The second act had started, and I wanted to watch.
(Deleted comment)
attack_laurel
Jan. 3rd, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to it. :) No, she wasn't drunk, just a young twenty-something high on her own importance, and mistakenly thinking everyone else thought she was the shit, too.

subdermalglow
Jan. 4th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Hello Madam Laura! I found you through the corsetmakers community on LJ, and am now paging happily through your wonderful gallery on Extreme Costuming, and was wondering if we could be LJ friends? I'm a costumer (theater and indie movies) and fashion designer in Chicago - mostly not period - the bulk of my mental designing comes from recombining period pieces and trends in new and (hopefully!) interesting ways.

Research is the never-ending river out of which fashion life springs!

Anyway, your site has made me very happy and lifted my heart. Thank you so very much! Happy 2008!!
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