|A Christmas Carol and Audience Behavior|
|Posted by: ntjvy 10:10 am EST 11/16/22|
|I loved Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol last night. I found Michael Arden's directing heavy and immersive in the best way possible.
That being said, I think it took the cake for the worst audience behavior I have ever witnessed. Over the course of a 90 minute show, this unfolded: 1. Large portion of the audience startled at a sound at the top of the show. They scream as if they're in a haunted house. They're shushed, and get it together. But only after a few moments of giggles. 2. The family of four behind me things they're at a Knicks game. They talk full voice at the start of the show. They're shushed. Then the mother starts to make LOUD yawning sounds. With a "hmm umm hmm" at the end sort of yawn. She is shushed after the third or forth one. She literally blames it on her daughter as a joke. The son of the family keeps turning his iphone flashlight on through out the show. He wants to read the playbill, he wants to see whats on the ground. He wants to see how bright the light can get. 3. Four seats down from me a very sleepy, maybe intoxicated person is snoring. Everyone ignores it. It starts to slump over on to his seat mate, who he does not know. He is corrected. He wakes up. He falls asleep again. At that point the seat mate stands up, turns around and asks if the seat behind him is taken. He then climbs over the row and sits in the seat behind him. 4. The sleeping man snores again. This sets the original family I mentioned off into hysterics. They are laughing as if it's the funniest thing they have ever heard. It does not match the tone on stage at this point at all. People shoosh them, that makes them laugh harder. It sets the people next to me into a giggle fit too. The woman next to me is laugh so hard she is doubled over, literally. Her partner is patting her back as he laughs, but it is a major disruption to everyone and it just keeps going. No amount of shushing or evil eye is shutting this down. 5. When things calm down, the father of the family starts making snoring noises to make everyone laugh again. It works, on both his family and the people next to me. 6. The son of the obnoxious family things it's a game now. When things calm down....this child....likely 10 years old...starts making fart noises. His father is embarrassed and tells him to stop. The mother things this is the funniest thing that has ever happened. She is full belly laughing again. The kid continues to do it every few minutes for many, many minutes. 7. The person next to me has gotten bored of it all. He takes out his iphone and starts texting.
I got the feeling that when people see "A Christmas Carol" they think its a fun light holiday experience, like they're going to Radio City, and when that's not what they're faced with, they decided to make it into that anyways.
The production was brilliant. I'm sad that the house management did nothing about it. They were nowhere to be seen and sitting center row orchestra in a one act show made it so there was really no course of action.
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