Monday July 22, 2019

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NY Theaters Riddled With Bad Cellphone Behavior

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone

Image via Wikipedia

According to the New York Post, cellphones are the scourge of Broadway. At a recent performance of Freud’s Last Session, an audience member in the front row was texting.

Actor Martin Rayner, who plays the Sigmund Freud, turned to the woman and said, “Stop texting!” and carried on. The woman was stunned, while the audience cheered.

But scenes like that are becoming more commonplace. New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert recently halted the orchestra in the midst of a Mahler symphony when he heard a marimba ringtone coming from the front row.  During a performance of Good People, Tony-winning actress Frances McDormand stopped and put her arm around her co-star and said, “Let’s wait,” as an audience member answered her ringing cellphone. A viral YouTube video taken in Prague shows a violist playing the tune of a ringing cellphone, then switching back to the concerto.

Often the people who try enforcing the rules have even worse manners than the initial offenders. The Post reported an incident in a Times Square movie theater where a woman began talking on her cellphone during a movie. A man gets up and reaches over and snaps her phone shut. The woman starts shouting. The man waves her off and she tosses her huge soda at him. She misses and hits the man next to him. He takes the soda and throws it right back at her.

But the theatre world might soon make space for texters. According to the Post, the promotions director for the current revival of Godspell wants to have a block of “tweet seats.”

The New York Post