That’s easy! Simply leave your cell phone on during a performance of A Steady Rain, and when it rings during a particularly tense moment onstage, sit back and don’t turn it off. That’s what went on last week when Hugh broke character and advised the offending person to silence the gadget already, to audience cheers and bravos.
I guess it was his Patti LuPone moment. And thanks to modern technology, these kinds of disruptions happen way more often than in the glory days, when occasional snoring and candy wrapper rustling were the only annoying sounds to fuck with a performance.
So as an audience member, which would you prefer? Being there for the “event” moment when a phone goes off and the star breaks the fourth wall, giving you a glimpse of their real personality under pressure and a chance to brag to friends, “I was there”?
Or just a plain, old, straightforward, uninterrupted night of drama?
As someone who loves theater, I’ll take the latter. And thanks for not interrupting me.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009