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Old 12-22-2008, 05:46 PM   #21
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Quite frankly people's lack of manners is the main reason why I have stopped going to the movies. I can't stand the talking, phone ringing, soda slurping, popcorn munching, seat kicking, etc...
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:52 PM   #22
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....
Am I over-reacting? I admit to having super hearing. I also suspect that this happens more often during poor performances, when I am more easily distracted. Is this age-related crankiness or rudeness on my part? What is an acceptable level of behaviour in a public performance and how should one react when the standards are not met?

Michael
Regarding poor performances: I remember a high school production of "Fiddler on the Roof." One of the parents who had to be there tried desperately to hum along and wave her hand futilely hoping they would pick up the beat. We had the luxury of leaving at intermission.

In my experience no one respects the ballet but there are many good recordings out there. You have my sympathy. SO and I mutually decided to forego "The Nutcracker" this year.
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:13 PM   #23
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Sat next to a woman at the opera who sang along. Yes! Not fun times.
I went to see Heart in September at an open air concert at the NY State Fair. Two young girls behind us sang every song, really loud in extremely sicky sweet voices. I plugged my ear, stared at them, and then finally moved down a row. They never stopped in spite of other people giving them "the eyeball". DA girls!
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #24
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Ann Wilson has a great voice. Nancy has some nice lungs, too...
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:40 AM   #25
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I avoid the GP (gen public) under all circumstances as outlined. I would not be likely to go see a child-oriented presentation of any kind because of just what you found.
One refreshing difference is when we go to music festivals. I've never once encountered rude or inconsiderate folks sitting nearby when. Even the kids are good. But these are most often hippie kids, that are to my mind much less obnoxious than typical yuppie suburban brats.

I'd be really mad if I dropped big bucks on a show and had the OPs experience.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:43 AM   #26
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Why is the spelling a factor?
Not sure. Duz speling cownt?
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:46 AM   #27
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Thank you all for your feedback and judgment. Likewise to those posts limited to criticizing spelling and such.

The show we attended was billed as an “Original Version”, not the children’s or family versions. It was an evening ballet by adults for adults, and the audience composition reflected this. Bringing children to shows is fine, even recommended as it contributes to a positive and well rounded education. In situations like these, however, parental guidance is needed.

I see I am in good company and not the only one to lament texters, talkers and other ill-mannered patrons. It seems there are no easy ways to deal with this. It’s like people posting obnoxious responses to legitimate questions – just best to ignore.

BTW, theatre is correctly spelled.

We will continue to go to movies, shows and concerts (if we have any money left) but will be more selective when choosing venue and time.

Merry Christmas to all

Michael
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:49 AM   #28
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What on earth does spelling have to do with people talking in theaters/theatres?

Punctuation, on the other hand...

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Old 12-23-2008, 09:30 AM   #29
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I'm with you 100%, Michael! We swore off live Nutcracker performances years ago, even before the advent of cell phones. In addition to the ever-present rudeness of people talking, it was the video recorders that did us in. Although it was a professional ballet company performing, there were local kids in the production. Their parents would stand and block our view while taping the parts their kids were in. Not good!

In a way, I welcome people's rudeness at live events because it then justifies my not supporting cultural activities. I do believe in the arts and feel a little guilty about not seeing more stuff live, but tickets are so expensive and I don't get that much more from a live performance/film showing than I do buying a CD or renting a DVD.

People's attention spans are so short these days that I think they honestly can't concentrate on a two-hour performance. There aren't any opportunities to learn impulse control, when you can constantly get and receive phone calls, no matter where you are (even the local library allows it, as long as you speak "quietly").

And there is no escaping the rudeness, no matter how high-brow the venue or performance. Even the symphony had its share of people talking and playing with their phones (not to mention the jangling jewelry and paper rustling from the free cough drops that were provided). In fact, it seemed to me that many people were there not for the music but for the dress-up opportunity and the gala event atmosphere. I actually heard some people ask each other who and what they would be hearing (to them it was just a generic night out, not a carefully selected program that appealed to them).

I don't agree with your wife's instructions on ignoring it. Easier said than done for some of us. We have different nervous systems and some of us are more sensitive to noise and other distractions/invasions/obstacles/threats than others.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:39 PM   #30
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If someone is talking during a performance, I first do the Sssshhhh thing, followed by the Stare thing.
If neither works, I will actually say very loudly "I'll be right back. I need to get the usher so he(she) can evict people who are talking out loud right now."
You can hear a pin drop after that.
.

Not sure I'd ever have the nerve to actually call an usher, but next time I am really POed I'll say that.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:26 PM   #31
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Not sure I'd ever have the nerve to actually call an usher, but next time I am really POed I'll say that.
So what is the best, constructive way to deal with this? I know a few times, I've just stewed so much about it that it ruined the evening for me. And when I do the hush/stare thing to no avail, it just makes me madder. I've never called an usher, or threatened to though - I'm wondering if that is a good approach.

I need to actually 'practice' ahead of time if I think it may be an issue. I really hate it when I end up saying "Excuse me, but could I ask you not to talk during the performance, it is distracting the people around you, thanks....".

The reason I hate that is, by saying 'Excuse me,..." it makes it sound as if *I* am asking them a favor, or interrupting them. Hey, I'm not the one doing anything wrong - why should *I* be saying pretty-please and all? But it always comes out that way. I guess I really need to say " Hello - your talking is distracting us from the performance - should I call the usher to have you removed, or will you be silent so the rest of us can enjoy the show?" .

Some of these events don't have ushers though. It's even been school presentations, not even my kid up there, but I'd like to see their performance. And two people in front of us will be going on about getting their tires rotated or something in a normal conversational voice, as if they were the only ones in the room. Once, I *was* taping my kid in a program, I had to turn to the people behind me and tell them that my microphone was picking up their conversation, and I was trying to record the band. They asked a little embarrassed, and were quiet after that, but what are they thinking, talking out load during someone else's performance?

I think it is another one of those things that should cause a person to be ineligible to vote. If you are that inconsiderate of the people you share your govt with, I don't want you to have a voice in it. Litterers too. That is not tongue-in-cheek. I'm serious.

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:32 PM   #32
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One refreshing difference is when we go to music festivals. I've never once encountered rude or inconsiderate folks sitting nearby when. Even the kids are good. But these are most often hippie kids, that are to my mind much less obnoxious than typical yuppie suburban brats.
....
I, too, enjoy the relaxed calm nature of hippy crowds; maybe it's something in the air.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:49 PM   #33
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One refreshing difference is when we go to music festivals. I've never once encountered rude or inconsiderate folks sitting nearby when. Even the kids are good. But these are most often hippie kids, that are to my mind much less obnoxious than typical yuppie suburban brats.
I can see that. I think the difference is that those people are there because they love the music and the experience, they aren't just there for 'something to do', or to brag "I was at the <fill in mega-star> concert>!". They had to go out of their way to attend the event, and it's usually not a status thing for them.

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Old 12-23-2008, 02:58 PM   #34
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So what is the best, constructive way to deal with this? I know a few times, I've just stewed so much about it that it ruined the evening for me. And when I do the hush/stare thing to no avail, it just makes me madder. I've never called an usher, or threatened to though - I'm wondering if that is a good approach.

I
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I am pretty easy going so I just tune the distraction out and don't let the small stuff bother me. Interestingly enough my ex-girlfriend and sister both were talkers (and also complained about others talking) so I sometimes sush them.

However, since this is clearly ruining your enjoyment and you are not alone. I suggest being proactive and preparing before you go out to an event. In the days when smoking in public was acceptable, my sister use to carry a battery powered fan and point it at the offending smoker. It worked ok a keeping the smoke away and great and getting the person to stop smoking.

I'd suggest printing up some business cards or notes. That say something to the effect.
"I paid money to hear this performance, not you. Please be quite, or I will contact the management." You can then pass out the card to the offending party. Make sure they cards are easily readable in a dark setting.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:02 PM   #35
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I completely agree with the OP. When we saw the Nutcracker last year there were many families with well-behaved children, and one family (very near us, naturally) whose children were either wandering around or talking/whining very loudly the whole time. The parents didn't care a bit and made no effort to hush them, ignoring the "evil eyes" sent their way. It really ruined the show for DW & I so I'm sympathetic to the OP's point of view.

Lately -- say, the last two years or so -- it seems like there are more and more people who can't put their gadgets down and enjoy the show. The most recent performance we attended, there was a guy two rows up that kept holding his cell phone way in the air and taking pictures and videos, and showing them excitedly to his girlfriend across the aisle, who was doing the same thing. (Her phone wasn't in our line of sight, at least.) His phone flashed a super-bright LED at us at about one flash per second when it was taking video, and this may sound like a little thing, but in a darkened room the LED and the bright screen appeared to us as about the same brightness as the stage. Finally, I got up in the middle of the performance and asked him to put the phone away, because it was really distracting to those of us behind him. Luckily he acted sheepish and did put it away, but it's amazing how some people can be so oblivious or unconcerned about disturbing the people around them.

I'm lucky that this doesn't bother DW; in fact, I try to make the first move because she wouldn't be as polite about it.
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #36
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SC, you leave us all wondering if your DW has a machete in her purse for those occasions when you don't pipe up first!

But we have active imaginations...

And Cuppa, yeah, there could be something to that...something in the air
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:34 PM   #37
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I was at a concert and an older woman in the row behind me answered a cell phone and started talking. I rolled up my program, reached back, and tapped her on the top of the head. Not a good idea, but it was effective in this instance.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:48 PM   #38
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Looking for some judgmental feedback here.
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not a problem: spelling theater as theatre doesn't distract from the fact that it should be people who talk in theaters not people that talk in theaters....hey, you asked for judgmental.
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Why is the spelling a factor?
my judgmental response conformed precisely to the op's direct request for "judgmental feedback" (though i suspected misuse of the word judgmental--i wasn't making fun; i was just playing along) in judging the use of the variant spelling theatre instead of theater as being haughty, or, perhaps better familiar to you, as being subterfuge distracting in that case, but not in yours, from the grammatical faux pas of objectifying people.

well, maybe in your case as well. so now you can judge that, whydontchya.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:10 PM   #39
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However, since this is clearly ruining your enjoyment and you are not alone. I suggest being proactive and preparing before you go out to an event.

...

I'd suggest printing up some business cards or notes. That say something to the effect.

"I paid money to hear this performance, not you. Please be quite, or I will contact the management." You can then pass out the card to the offending party. Make sure they cards are easily readable in a dark setting.
Thanks. That thought has crossed my mind. Yes, I think I will actually do that for future outings. Maybe make it more generic like 'distracting', in case it is a phone display or something other than noise.

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Old 12-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #40
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Clif - great idea about the cards! I agree with most about courtesy in theatres - shut up - people paid for this - let them enjoy the performers! Free outdoor concerts or music festivals are a different thing. I sit far enough from the stage that it can be background music for whatever was going on before we came across the outdoor concert. Same with music festivals - life goes on at the festival. I have summoned an usher successfully in the past (after a verbal admonishment/request)
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