Most people who attend the theater in New York City are pretty well behaved. They turn off cell phones, unwrap their candies and stop talking when the house lights dim and the curtain goes up. Every play that I’ve been to since cell phones were invented a few decades ago has a pretty standard advisory for audience members to do just that. Sometimes the advisory even includes an “or else”, strengthened by the threat of one or all of the cast members coming into audience to find malefactors. So far, no play has threatened dismemberment.
However, once in a while you find yourself in a seat near a chucklehead who’s been living in a cave for the past 45 years. I had two chuckleheads to a high exponent seated next to me recently at a matinee.
In the middle of the first act, when it was clear their attention was flagging, the man pulled out his cellphone, turned it on, and reported, in what I would consider a loud whisper, an incoming text to the woman to his right. She then responded back in another loud whisper.
After a few initial seconds of code red anger on my part, I turned to them and said, “PLEASE…TURN….OFF…YOUR… PHONE!!!!!!!” He looked startled but he did. They left at intermission.