Sunday, 17 April 2011

Show tune shush

I'm not a violent person. I have committed acts of violence in my heart, but I beg forgiveness. Or, perhaps you want to join in the virtual bloodbath? Tell me, have you ever been to say, a concert, a show, or a movie where someone wants to have a chat? Let's have a show of blood-stained hands. Hmmn. Quite a few. (And you people to the right, this is pretend blood, okay?) Now,how about when someone wants to sing along with a performance you've paid good money to see?

I sat next to a sweet lady when I went to see the Dance Theatre of Harlem some years ago. Part of the programme included scenes from Sylvia. I don't have the DTH's version at hand, but here's the Royal Ballet: The lady recognised the music and started in: "Dit-dit, dit-dit, dit-dit, dit-dit, dit-dit, DIT DIT..." She did seem to clue in to my appalled demeanour, but seemed gently puzzled. I don't really think she knew she was doing it.

Do you think this might be the problem? That people genuinely are unaware that they're singing along (the couple who were delighted that they knew several tunes in Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony), or banging out the rhythm on the back of your seat with their feet (that guy behind me who liked "Fat and Greasy" at Ain't Misbehaving): 'Cause they sure seemed annoyed when I asked them to stop, as if I were the rude one, or some sort of spoil-sport.

So last night, the Resident Fan Boy, younger daughter and I went to Show Tune Showdown. As I blogged about it last year, it's a fundraiser for one of our local gay-lesbian-transgendered-and-some-straights choir (this one is called "Tone Cluster") and is something like those show-biz competition shows like So You Think You Can Dance, so there are three 4-person teams from community or university musical theatre groups performing numbers from Broadway shows. We had a lovely time last year and a rather less lovely time this year. Because, guess what? This guy was chatting in the row behind us. I think he managed to contain himself during the actual musical numbers, although he had a very loud laugh, but he prattled through the introductory bits, and during the adjudications, he would make emphatic agreement noises: "Mmm-hmmm." "Yeah." "Uh-huh." Gosh, I wanted to smack him.

We gather that Show Tune Showdown will not be on next year, but is on for 2013. We're not sure why. The guy talked over it.

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