Friday, June 20, 2008

"There's a special place in hell...

... reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater."
-- Shepherd Meriah Book, "Firefly"

* * * * *

I can not understand people who come in late for the theater.

With tickets costing in the thousands, the last thing I'd want is to miss anything. And you can't just pro-rate the costs; missing the opening number detracts from the entire experience. In a medium where plot points are sung and danced, not seeing a musical number amounts to a lot of plot lost.

Unlike TV shows with their recaps and movies that you can watch again, a theatrical performance is more interactive. It involves the audience in ways that someone used to films can miss. Actors play off an audience's reactions and can get distracted by a noisy or aloof one. In rare cases the performance on both sides is so great that it makes for an excellent show, a unique viewing experience.

So the idiot who comes in late and disturbs other audience members is not only doing himself a disservice, he's bothering the actors, too. The entire experience is affected by the dozens who are inconsiderate enough to think that whatever else it is they're doing is more important.

Sad thing is, the point is lost on many of them.


Camz said...

Good thing that most theaters do not allow late comers to come in, isn't it?

missingpoints said...

They do. The current protocol for latecomers to musicals is they make you wait until a number is finished, then usher you to your seats during the lull. Which is still a disservice to viewers since we get to miss some dialog.

If the theater isn't packed the ushers usually seat latecomers at empty seats near the door and then move them when it's convenient.

It still sucks for those of us who come in early.