Theater Etiquette

January 13, 2009

As I’ve said before, one of the best perks that comes with working for Dance Spirit is that I get to go see tons of shows! From the ballet to Broadway, I’m very fortunate to be able to take in as much as possible, all in the heart of NYC. In the past week I’ve seen A Tale of Two Cities, 13 (which is featured in the November issue of DS) and Hairspray.


While all of these shows have been fabulous, I think theater etiquette is definitely worth mentioning.


People simply don’t dress up for the theater anymore, and I guess that’s OK. But baseball hats, T-shirts and jeans? Not OK by me. Two nights ago, at A Tale of Two Cities, there were two young men wearing just that. They didn’t even take off their hats during the show. In my opinion, there are performers working so hard to give audiences an awesome show. The least we, as theater-goers, can do is look presentable. 


I’m also all for having a good time during a show (There was an all-out dance party at the end of Hairspray last night! Turns out you really can’t stop the beat!). But not at the expense of other people in the audience. Turn off your cell phones during the show and don’t even take your phone out to look at it while performers are onstage. The bright light in the dark theater is distracting to the people sitting around you. Resist the temptation to sing along to songs you know well (Even I had to restrain myself during Legally Blonde. It was tough, but I let the performers do the singing.) and don’t talk during the show. Seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised what you see in the Broadway audiences these days!


OK I’m off my soapbox now. And if you’re headed to NYC, you absolutely must take in a show. My current obsession is In the Heights. The music is awesome, the dancing is awesome, the story is awesome. A guaranteed good time.