I love musicals. I love going to live theatre. I look forwarding to enjoying an afternoon or an evening out with a friend. So when you mess with my day at the theatre, I’m going to be choked.
In September, my friend and I went to see RENT at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre. RENT is one of my absolute favourite musicals and I had been counting down the days to see the show.
We had seats in the upper left side balcony. (Theatre tickets are expensive! We had the best of the cheap seats.) We were in our seats 15 minutes before the 2pm matinee started. There were 8 seats in our row, and when the show started we were still the only ones seated in our row. There were four empty seats near the aisle, then us, then two empty seats near the wall.
I was thinking we had hit the theatre jackpot: empty seats on either side of us. I put my coat and purse on the empty seats and sat back to enjoy the show. Within the first few notes, I was enthralled. For 25 minutes, I was transported to New York City in the early 90’s, lost in the story unfolding in front of me.
That’s when four people sauntered in and took their seats in our row. Now it’s crappy enough that they came into a theatre 26 minutes after the show started, but the kicker?
THEY CAME IN WITH DRINKS!
Even though they knew they were late and they were going to bother all the people around them when they came into the theatre, they still took the time to stop at the bar and grab a drink for the first act. What the actual h**l?
I was so choked I wanted to do something passive aggressive like take the armrest between us so the guy had to hold his drink in his other hand but I got distracted because then the other two people in our row showed up! Now these two had the seats next to the wall, so all six of us had to stand up and let them in. In the middle of a song, in the middle of the performance, we had to stand up and block the view for everyone behind us while these people stumbled over us, to their seats in the dark almost a full 30 minutes after the show started!
And then the woman in the twosome pulled out her phone and started texting during the show! But that’s another rant…. (She stopped when I reached across my friend and her date and swatted her arm.)
I know life happens; the sitter is late, there’s traffic, you can’t find parking, but I don’t care! I’m sorry if I sound like a complete jerk, but this afternoon out is a big deal for me. I bought tickets months ago and I’ve been excited about the show and planning for it since then. I made sure I gave myself plenty of time to get to the theatre and into my seat before the show started.
And you didn’t.
So I don’t think my theatre experience should be compromised because things went wrong for you. And apparently for the group of four beside us, things went so wrong that they had to grab a drink before coming late into the theatre. *insert eye roll here*
Get your “stuff” (not the word I want to use here) together and get to the theatre on time. Or if you don’t, enjoy a drink in the lobby and come into the theatre at intermission. Yes, that’ll mean missing half the show. But if you cared enough to see the first half, you would have shown up on time.
Like the rest of us.
Have an opinion? A story to tell? Something you’d like to get off your chest?
Banner image credit: QE Theatre