Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Theatre Etiquette, Part Four (Or Drunken City)

Theatre Etiquette, Part Four (Or Drunken City)

As regular readers know, I have a real thing or two (or three, and sadly even four) to say about the complete breakdown of our civilization, due to some self-absorbed individuals' utter lack of self-awareness or respect for others while attending theatrical performances.

Now, I realize that alcohol and its impact remains a pervasive theme emanating from the stage. This Broadway season alone, we've been treated to one show after another after another after another after another where alcoholism is central to the story. And Off-Broadway, there's even a new Adam Bock play called The Drunken City.

But imagine my surprise in attending a $54 preview of Cry-Baby when the show was upstaged by the act in the audience.

Immediately behind me, two fairly unassuming women who looked to be in their 40s took their seats. I first knew something was up by virtue of their obsequious fussiness in getting situated. However, a tune or two into the show, the two were borderline belligerent, alternately slurping out of their adult sippy cups to conversing with each other in slurred speech.

Not long after, the two passed out. I could tell because they were both snoring. Yes, I looked back at them and the "lady" on the aisle had her head bobbing to her left with her mouth wide open, while her cohort in crime had her head tilting onto her gal pal's shoulder.

Given my concern that either one of these wretched women would suddenly lurch forward spewing whatever a la Linda Blair, I could not help but continually keep one eye on the stage and another on them. At intermission, I approached the manager of the theatre to let him know about the two women, but he was helping another man out -- turned out he also was seated next to a complete drunk who should have never been let in to begin with. Still, I thought once I explained the circumstances, he'd take care of it. Wrong.

Unfortunately, when I returned to my seat, the two women were still there, making complete buttocks personifieds out of themselves.

Lest there be any question to anyone wanting to know if drinking is against the norms of theatre etiquette, let me say this: anything in moderation is fine. I often enjoy a glass of champagne or two before a performance begins or at intermission. But drinking to excess not only impairs your ability to appreciate (or even grasp) a performance, it also can ruin others' enjoyment as well.

And frankly, I'm still wondering why the Marquis management didn't collect these broken women and remove them. The shame is spread all around.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
Truly Ugly Betty Behavior (November 2, 2007)
Theatre Etiquette, Part Three (Or The End Of Southern Gentility) (July 30, 2007)
Are You Cheering Yet? (July 27, 2007)
What Motivates You To See A Broadway Show? (July 5, 2007)
From Now On, I'll Just Sit On My Hands (July 1, 2007)
Talk To The Hand: Kevin Edition (June 20, 2007)
Spring Awakening Calling (June 18, 2007)
Rat Patrol: Coming To A Theatre Near You? (May 30, 2007)
Theatre Etiquette, Part Two (May 1, 2007)
Theatre Etiquette, Part One (November 30, 2007)

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At 16 April, 2008, Blogger Esther said...

They were horrendous, I agree. It's one thing if you want to drink to excess and make an exhibition of yourself and fall asleep, but to do it in a place where other people are trying to pay attention to what's on stage or on the screen or whatever is just rude and unacceptable. You're absolutely right, the management at the Marquis should have ushered them out. A ticket does not give you the right to behave however you want.

At 16 April, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Guess they thought they could afford to drink more since tix were only $54!

At 16 April, 2008, Blogger Roxie said...

I used to have that job - the house managing and let me tell you - those two would have been out! Although, we did have a case where a guy's cell went off and he answered it (iexzmqpladkju) and although he was a total disturbance and totally rude (and disturbing the performance) we couldn't actually ask him to leave. We could only ask him to stop and keep an eye on him. I think that you get into some tricky legal territory.
Meh. Totally annoying and frustrating!

At 16 April, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Rats for us not having Roxie to the rescue!


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