Over the last 2 years, I have seen a LOT of musicals (if you remember, I signed up for season tickets for 2 years just so I could be guaranteed an at-cost ticket to Hamilton, and it was worth it!) which is good for me, because I LOVE musicals! There have been some decent ones, and some AMAZING ones, and one in particular that I still can’t believe ever made it to the stage let alone a tour but I sat thru it anyway (yes I’m clearly still mad at you, Love Never Dies….)
This past season, my musical buddy and I got to see EIGHT shows!!! The Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, Anastasia, Hamilton (which I saw twice!!!), Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Hello Dolly, and Fiddler on the Roof. Time and time again, I was just blown away with the talent and creativity that we saw! The sets were great (especially Anastasia – those sets incorporated technology in a way that you just don’t get with older, more classic musicals and it was neat to see the difference), the singing was great (even though this is a touring cast they’re just so insanely talented!), and I just loved all of it!
Well… that’s not true. I should say that I loved most of it. The things that I didn’t love were most of the other people in the theater, haha. People just being rude or annoying or not having any sort of social awareness to realize that they’re in a theater and not on the couch at home alone. So because of that, I thought I’d share some unwritten rules of going to musicals that SHOULD BE COMMON SENSE but clearly are not. They so are not.
1. Arrive on time.
Things happen. Unexpected traffic happens. The person you’re picking up isn’t ready on time. Things happen. But just try your best to arrive on time. Not even on time but early!! The rush of people coming in after the opening number using flashlights and cell phones to find their seats in the dark is very distracting!
2. Don’t wear gym shorts.
Things have gotten pretty casual at the theater lately, and I usually end up in jeans and a nice top when I go, but please just whatever you do, don’t show up in gym shorts!!! Being comfortable is nice, I get it, but it’s just hilarious when you see a family all dressed up sitting next to a dude who clearly just came from the gym. Or just woke up.
3. Don’t sing along.
NO! This is not a time for you to showcase how you know every single word to every single song! NO! People are paying money to hear the professionals sing, not you! Save it for your car on the way home when you can enjoy the songs and sing as loud as you want. But please, please don’t sing along during the actual musical itself. (Side note – this rule does not apply to adorable children under the age of 6 who are so genuinely elated that Princess Jasmine and Aladdin are riding on the magic carpet that they can’t help but belt it out. That is forever allowed.)
4. Don’t use your phone during.
Is there a reason that you need to check facebook in a dark theater, lady? Is the singing and dancing happening in front of you just not enough entertainment? Do you need to look at ALL the vacation photos from your cousin’s honeymoon RIGHT NOW?!?!?! Even when screens have the brightness turned down, they’re still pretty bright, so don’t be rude and just keep your phone out of sight until intermission.
5. Eat responsibly.
I love snacks. Snacks are the best. But this theater in Dallas only sells baked goods and candy in the crinkliest, loudest packaging known to man. And I’m pretty sure that people wait for the silent, sad moments in the musicals to CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE their candy open. Maybe try opening your treat before going into the theater. Maybe wait till the end of a song and open it while there’s lots of loud applause happening. Maybe pour a bag of skittles into your empty eyeglass case in your car outside so you don’t have to worry about crinkly wrappers OR spending $4 on a treat. So many options.
6. Don’t leave early.
I know you have VERY important plans you need to get to immediately after the musical and you want to be the very first car out of the parking lot to avoid the extra 10 minutes of waiting, but please please do not think you’re being smart by leaving during the final number! You’re missing part of the show! I even think it’s bad when people start filing out during the curtain call. I’m just trying to stand and applaud for all the talented people, not get my feet stepped on as you try to shuffle out from the middle of the row because you HAVE to be the first one out the door.