During last night's fall musical performance, I was lucky enough to sit behind a man I have come to know as Hey!.
Hey! always seems to have tickets on the same night as I do. I have never known who he actually is, however. At the end of many of the musical numbers, Hey! will shout (what do you think he will shout?) "Hey!" in that sacred quiet moment between the end of the song and the applause.
It unnerves me, and I hate it. So here I am, sitting where I can see him, and I can't do a thing about it. How would it look to have a teacher confront a parent at a school event? I so wanted to ask him why he shouts like that. I so wanted to challenge his choice of time to yell (for example, if you are going to shout, why didn't you do it at the end of It Takes Two? It was an adorable number and very important to the plot. The kids were able to sing and act at the same time. Bad choice, Hey!. Bad choice.
While I have you here and you're listening to my thoughts on theatre ettiqute, can we also discuss the standing ovation?
We have devalued it. How many performaces (of any type) have you attended recently where one schmoe stands up? All of them, right? Then, just because he did it, five more people stand up and before you know it, everyone around you is standing and if you don't you're a bastard who doesn't appreciate everyone's hard work and the stock for applause just plummeted. Little Johnny goes to college and appears in his first college show and thinks, "Man, I got a standing O every time I got onstage in High School and now I hardly ever do. I must have peaked in high school."
And he weeps. Do you want that on your head? I don't.
I would like to propose a minimum basic criteria for a standing ovation and I would like to do it here. Please share your ideas here and the findings of our committee will be shared in this space at a later date.
We could change the world and save little Johnny.