If there were a Tony category for most annoying patrons, the nominees would be …
(6) The ones who ruffle through their Playbills during a quiet moment, suddenly determined to find an actor’s name or see how many songs are left
These people would probably tap dance at a funeral.
(5) The ones who were too busy talking during the pre-show announcement to know that you don’t text, talk, rustle for candy, or pop a sourball out of its wrapping during the performance
And naturally, they don’t listen during the actual show either. They’re too busy talking, texting, rustling, etc.
(4) The ones who’ve seen the show before and want to let the whole theater know that they know what’s coming
“This is where she leaves him. Brace yourself for three gunshots! But the next song is really good. It’s sort of a Motown medley. Then there’s a dream ballet and they all die.”
(3) The reverse types — i.e., the know-nothings — who aren’t ashamed to blare their ignorance at every turn
It’s the most obvious plot in the world — in fact, it’s a revival of a Shakespeare play — and they’re asking their friend, “Huh? Why is Hamlet so upset? And who’s that ghost????”
(2) The ones who feel the need to explain every moment to their kids at top volume
“Blanche is promiscuous.” “What does that mean, Mommy?” “Well, she’s, let’s say, very popular and …”
(1) The ones who sing along
Every show to them is a sing-along, even if it’s Sondheim or some other arty stuff that’s way out of their league.
You want to yell, “I came here to hear Kelli O’Hara and Sutton Foster, not some manicurist from Massapequa!”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 22, 2011