We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Theatre manners: What should we have done?

Hartford...
Level Contributor
1,237 posts
Save Topic
Theatre manners: What should we have done?

We went to the Gershwin Theater this week to see Wicked. The man next to me started texting on his backlit phone at the beginning of the first act. I gave him a few minutes to finish up and then asked him to please turn his phone off, which he did at his convenience 10 minutes later.

He and his date then proceeded to talk and whisper to each other during the entire performance. What should I have done without drawing attention to myself or disrupting the entire performance? Has anyone else had this problem?

The seats were expensive but I guess that doesn't really matter. We were with our granddaughter and didn't want to create a situation by punctuating the rudeness of this couple but what should we have done to rectify the situation?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,326 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

There's not much you can do during an act, unless you're near an aisle and can get to an usher. I usually ask them to please take it outside (instead of turning it off), which I like to imagine points out to them that there are appropriate and inappropriate places to do it. I've had ok luck with this approach, but I think in general these people are beyond hope. Other than that, talk to an usher at intermission--sometimes they will speak directly to the individual before the 2nd act begins; sometimes they just make a general announcement to the people in that section.

It really annoys me that ushers in general don't take a more pro-active position on this. One electronic device can be seen in a large part of a theatre, and they should be monitoring and taking action when it happens.

rhyl, north wales
Level Contributor
1,005 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

I have never experienced such rude behaviour at any theatre wherever we have been maybe we have been lucky but tbh with you if i was in your position that night i would have lost my temper and been ejected from the theartre

Any Beach
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
Level Contributor
8,004 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

Oh I would have been furious if that happened while my family was there!!

I would have said something about the cell phone early on...then shushed them when they were talking. Then....I would have gone to the usher.

When we saw that show, there was a couple with two kids right beside me...the man talked...not whispered...to his daughter just a couple of times, and the people right in front of us turned around both times and gave him a dirty look. We didn't have to go to the usher, but he did look like he could do his job pretty well if need be....if you know what I mean. ;)

Hartford...
Level Contributor
1,237 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

There wasn't an usher to be seen, unfortunately. The people behind us were shushing them to no avail. I was really surprised.

NYC
Level Contributor
1,881 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

I am so sorry that happened.

I go to the theater a lot and that has never happened to me. I think theatre audiences are extremely polite.

I was once at a movie theatre and the person next to me suddenly started texting. I was so taken aback i said, without really thinking, 'Are you kidding, there is a movie on.' OMG I could not believe I said it. He got up and, actually, never came back to that seat.

I think that anyone, once, told to be quite would be quite. I am not sure what I would have done in your situation.

Yalesville...
Level Contributor
17,914 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

That's when you get up and go find an usher/staff and let them take care of the situation - B'way tickets are big bucks and you should not have to be subjected to someone with bad manners and really, no common sense.

Don't be intimidated - use some Chutzpah and get results.

Poppa

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
815 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

Some people are incredibly rude and inconsiderate. I was once in the theatre (in the UK) where a drunken group of women were making way too much noise and had been shushed and asked politely to keep the noise down by several audience members when someone across the aisle from them stood up between numbers (it was a performance of Evita) and said something along the lines of,

"We have paid a lot of money to be here tonight and if you are not interested in what is happening on stage the least you could do is be courteous to the rest of us and keep quiet or leave". He got a round of applause from much of the audience around them, they did shut up and half of them didn't return after the interval!

That said, finding a member of staff is usually what I would advise ;-)

I don't understand why you would spend money on a ticket then behave like that, but then some people just don't know any better.

Russell, KY
Level Contributor
3,804 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

And now we have to deal with people ripping open Twizzlers and eating them at a Broadway show thanks to the lobby selling them in the first place. Sigh.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

You're not alone, robfg51. Same thing happened to me at Promises, Promises last year (the lighted texting thing, not the talking). I was getting ready to say something when another irked theater-goer beat me to the punch (no violent pun intended). Fortunately, the uncouth texter stopped, but I would I would have said something to theater staff if it continued. I just hope live theaters don't completely go the way of cinemas, which I'm starting to frequent less and less because of bad audience behavior.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,326 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Theatre manners: What should we have done?

>>And now we have to deal with people ripping open Twizzlers and eating them at a Broadway show thanks to the lobby selling them in the first place. Sigh.

Hey--see my post elsewhere about War Horse! I thought they brought the darn things with them.

I seem to always be seated near the talkers, texters, bag-rattlers, velcro-unfasteners, seat-back kickers, full-course-meal-with-onions-eaters, snorers, and general riff-raff.

The ushers usually stay in the back of the theatre or right outside the door. There might be some kind of law requiring this (in case there is an emergency) but I don't know that for sure; it just seems like there should be. But if you're in the middle of a row, it's really disrupting to have to leave.

(Darren: yes, you are lucky!)