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Couthless in Seattle

One of the reasons that we wanted to go to Seattle was that we found out that one of the touring companies of the musical RENT was going to be there at about the same time that we were planning on going. We have seen RENT six times now (3 times in La Jolla, once in LA, once in Tampa and once in Seattle&#41, and it's always a tense situation trying to anticipate whether a particular city is going to have a "good" audience or a "bad" audience. San Francisco has bad audiences, who at movies will hiss and yell at the screen, talk — not whisper — during the entire thing and basically treat the cineplex like one giant living room. Local symphony and theater performances aren't much better; in addition to the talking and eating, we can add to the list people walking in after the concert/play has started and doing the "Excuse Me Shuffle" to their seats, which are always conveniently located in the center of a row.

So, before the show started, a group of young, formally-dressed, shiny-haired beautiful people seated behind us started to talk and talk and talk about their personal lives, getting louder and louder and screechily laughing. The show started, and they — since their life stories were so intriguing or something —  kept talking! Eventually they quieted down, but 03/4 of the way through the Act One, two of them started discussing going to get something to drink in the lobby. Then one of them got up and went out to get something to drink in the lobby. Then they proceeded to slurp, unwrap, and chew their way through the rest of the show. The must have had a virtual snack bar back there! Now, we had seen the show five times previously, but we still paid $67 each to see it again, and I'll be damned if I'm going to be distracted by people who ask their friends to explain the plot for them right in the middle of the show as if they were at home watching it on their VCR. All I know is that when the lights go down you sit still and you don't kick the seat in front of you and you wait for intermission to get up and walk around and get something to drink and you don't bring a cellophane-wrapped sandwich into the theater and if you don't like the show, please leave during intermission instead of sighing and fidgeting your way through the Act Two.

Posted in Scowls.

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