Theater Thursday: AT & T and the No Good, Very Bad, Theater Behavior

Recently in the news, you might have heard some small tales of theater-goers showing off some very non-theater friendly behavior. From plugging in their smart phones into a fake electrical outlet at Hand of Godto Patti LuPone snatching a phone away from an attendee during a recent Lincoln Center performance, the regular visitors of Broadway have gotten a bit out of hand.

But thanks to phone provider AT&T, this rude trend might have just gone too far. In case you haven’t heard, nor read any of your favorite actors’ Twitters this past Monday, AT&T sent out a recent message to users via a Tweet saying the following: 

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Now, to some, this might seem like an innocent image and nothing more. But to the frustrated Broadway community, this ridiculousness has gone far enough. And the members of said community weren’t laughing about this, one bit. Here are a few of our favorite responses:

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After multiple celebrities and important productions called out AT&T for their idiotic advertising, the famous phone company responded with tweets that clearly indicate they A) didn’t think this through B) don’t know anything about the theater and C) know how to copy and paste a message like a boss.

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I find it hilarious that AT&T keeps mentioning to people that the ad was not meant to be taken literally. But how could you not?! Do they not read the headlines with the previous stories mentioned, know how smartphones have basically changed the structure of socializing in human society, and fail to realize that their company is one of the reasons technology is at our finger tips? You’d think one of the major brands on the pulse of the smartphone industry would understand what the heck people do with their product in the first place, as rude as it may seem.

If you were to ask me about this issue, I can definitely tell you that smartphones and Broadway are not a good mix. I recently went to one of the last performances of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and during the climactic, near silent moment prior to “Midnight Radio,” someone was playing music on their phone in our section of the theater. Though it might have been an accident, we all heard what was on their iTunes playlist pretty clearly, and that is not cute no matter what.'s Parody of AT&T Ad’s Parody of AT&T Ad

It isn’t just smart phones that are bringing about this bad behavior, but the new tourist friendly culture that theaters across The Great White Way are promoting. From ushers selling candy in the aisles during intermission, to the lazy checking of bags by the theater staff, the sophistication of theater-goers has really dropped to an all time low. Just recently, I attended an evening performance of Les Miserables, and a family behind me started eating full on Mexican food during the first act. Am I the one going crazy thinking such activities are rude? Because the last time I checked, Jean Valjean wasn’t a fan of Chipotle.

So, what do you think of these recent theater-going fail moments? Have you experienced anything like this at a show? Tell us your Broadway horror stories below. And maybe if we get enough of them, we can get these theaters to understand how ridiculous things are getting at these shows we pay hundreds of dollars to see. As the meme says, ain’t nobody got time for that. Especially at a Broadway show. 

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