Pick the Tonys with Talkin' Broadway


re: The screaming audience needs to end
Posted by: AlanScott 05:33 pm EDT 04/15/24
In reply to: re: The screaming audience needs to end - Chromolume 01:42 pm EDT 04/15/24

When I saw The Connector, there was applause and cheering when the lights went down. OK, I don't mind that, but during the first couple of numbers, a woman in the row behind me applauded several held notes in the middle of numbers. I looked back at her every time she did this, but I don't think she noticed me. But I think perhaps someone said something to her because then she stopped doing it.

I was at the last of the four Into the Woods performances taped with audience. I've said here before that I think a good deal of that performance is in the video. Unlike the Sweeney video, where there is really nothing or next to nothing from a performance with an audience, I think things had advanced enough technically by the time Into the Woods was shot that they could include sections shot with an audience.

Two moments in particular that I found odd at the performance I attended, which was (I think) the sixth time I saw the show (well, six and a half as I second-acted it once), were the response Bernadette Peters got for "Who are you gonna tell?" and the response (from one or two people) to Robert Westenberg's exit in his scene with Joanna Gleason. Both are in the video. I suppose it's possible that those moments got nearly identical audience responses at other of the taped performances with audience. Also possible that, as with the Sweeney video, most of what was used in the official video was shot without audience but audience responses from performances with audience were added.

In any case, at no other performance I saw of the production did those moments get responses anything like they did at that performance. The crazy thing about the Westenberg moment was that he usually got a better response on his exit in that scene than he did at that performance. He usually got a laugh (not a huge one, but a laugh) and a smattering of exit applause. But at that performance, someone audibly let out a "Eww!" of disgust. There was laughter, I think not significantly more than usual, but no exit applause. It was kind of odd. And the reaction to "Who are you gonna tell?" was huge, whereas she usually got no laugh or very little laughter. It was a reaction from an audience filled with people who had seen the show before. Probably many of them had seen it several times.

But except for moments here and there, I would say that the audience at the performance I attended that was taped was quite enthusiastic, but not that much more than usual. Not like it would probably be today.
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