Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, October 09, 2009

All the world's a stage but please observe the "No Talking" sign,won't you?

An amusing clip that made it's way around the internet recently was of Hugh Jackman breaking character during his performance of "A Steady Rain" to talk back at an audience member who had their cell phone on. The ringing was so distracting that even co-star Daniel Craig chimed in with his own complaint later:

While it is rude to leave a cell phone on at a public entertainment(especially during a live production)some people thought Jackman was being too hard on the offender there. This is an ancient debate and I thought a good way to discuss the pros and cons of the issue would be thru video.

Talking back at on stage action is a well known tradition,going back to the days of Shakespeare,along with audience members holding conversations loud enough to drown out the dialogue. Those who did so were usually among the upper class and well used to ignoring the concerns of others,a distinction that held on even when theater became an important part of the American artistic experience:

As technology improved and made movies the next big thing in group entertainment,the talkative types followed along suit. Shouting back at the screen did enhance the fun factor of certain genre films but the combination of that with cell phone use and bad timing has caused near riots in several theaters and swift street justice delivered upon the annoying:

Some forms of theatrical events have embraced interaction from the audience whether positive or negative. Stand up comedians have long honed their craft with the aid of hecklers, a number of whom had so much field time that it's a wonder they haven't formed their own union or at least their own award show:

Every now and then,sabotage comes from within as actors allow their personal problems to manifest themselves during show time and give the folks in their seats a little something extra for their money:

While this dilemma may never be fully resolved to everyone's satisfaction,perhaps that is truly for the best. Part of the thrill of going to any show is the possibility of spontaneity,the chance that something will happen that makes things awfully wonderful.

No doubt many of the people at that performance of "A Steady Rain" will have extra special memories from that outburst of Jackman's and altho that shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of rude interruptions,it can lead to unexpected heroics that become the highlight of an artist's career. You never know when the magic's going to happen,so sometimes it's just better to roll with it:

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