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Donald’s Mailbag: rudeness at ‘HAIR’

A reader named Joann writes in a Sunday letter:

Yesterday I went to see MTF’s production of “HAIR.” I was really looking forward to the show but my enjoyment of the first act was spoiled by a group of patrons behind me that were talking and whispering non stop.

The lyrics of HAIR are very challenging so you really have to listen carefully. Because of the rude talkers behind me I couldn’t concentrate. Imagine my surprise when the lights came up at intermission and I recognized one of the talkers as being none other than a cast member in another local musical whom I had just seen performing last weekend. Shame on you! How would you like it if people came to your show and did that?

Talking during a play or a movie is rude to everyone around you and just shouldn’t be done. Luckily I was able to move for the second act but I feel sorry for the rest of the folks that were stuck around the talkers! In the future, please be more considerate. Thank You.

Responses to "Donald’s Mailbag: rudeness at ‘HAIR’"

pk says:

You are preaching to the choir here….but I would suggest a well-placed dirty look, if you don’t want to ‘say’ anything, or, notifying a usher to help as well…..

The more ‘nothing’ is done, the more this behavior will increase…

Stephen says:

Absolutely horrid.

I’m guessing (hoping) the loudmouth was a kid/student.

If not, you certainly should’ve said something. This isn’t even a movie theater, this is supposed to be culture!

I get that we’ve socialized ourselves to audience ‘shout-outs’ to friends onstage (which I also don’t like), but to have someone harm your experience sucks.

Heather says:

I experienced this a few weeks back on my first trip to the Philharmonic. I figured something more upscale like the Philharmonic would weed out the mouth-breathers, but alas, there was so much chatter in the audience, I thought I’d ended up at a hockey game instead.

Barbara Vlymen says:

Yes, it happened to me recently at Second Space and at FGO when I went to see “Rigoletto”! You are not sitting in your living room, people!

S. Ryan says:

Reminds me of going to the movies and people texting. It’s not just the SOUNDS that’re annoying; it’s the light, too.

Your device puts off light — that’s distracting. The sounds or even the vibration sound on some phones – distracting.

How hard to go to the movies, a musical, etc.. and just turn those DEVICES OFF or make sure they’re not making ANY SOUND, including the sound of a vibration or keeping the LIGHTS OFF on it?

Is it really that hard?

Donald Munro says:

One thing that makes this incident stand out is that it sounds as if a recognizable local actress in a current local show was the culprit. All audience members have a responsibility to be respectful, of course, but it’s even more important if you’re a high-profile member of the theater community — if only because your actions can reflect upon your own company, like it or not.

Kristin says:

Best way to deal with this situation is to just turn around and ask them to be quiet. Usually that does the trick. No need to be so distracted and not get your money’s worth when a few words can solve your problem. I hate texter’s as well. Asking them to put their phone away isn’t a crime.

Same goes for young children and crying babies. I have no shame in asking them to excuse themselves. I came to watch the performance, not listen to your child cry or chitter-chatter. If your child cannot comprehend what is going on on-stage DO NOT BRING THEM. Babies especially. That will never make sense to me.

Basic point, it never hurts to ask!

Joann says:

Thanks everyone for your good suggestions on how I should have handled it. I’m not a confrontational person so I didn’t want to say anything I just want people to understand how their rude behavior affects those around them. I do find comfort in hearing that there are others of you out there that have experienced this as well and also find it rude and annoying!As for those of you that do the talking please take note of how the rest of us feel!

Thanks,
Joann