I Have Wicked Bad Theater Etiquette

Wicked Broadway

There are two sides to every story and here is mine. And for those who don't know, not only is Wicked a popular Broadway show, wicked is a word Rhode Islanders use to describe something that is in excess of. See what I did there?

I was told I have bad theater etiquette while I was seeing Wicked in Providence last weekend. In case you can't tell, it struck a nerve with me so here I am venting about it.  

I've seen Wicked about six times and when I get asked to go with a friend of mine, of course I will take up the offer. The songs, the script, the story line... I love it all and know basically all the words because I'm a freak. 

The show starts and instantly, the same feeling comes over me and it's like your favorite song of all time is playing for two hours straight. There were two women sitting in front of my friends (who have never seen Wicked before) and I and turned around while Glinda and Elphaba were singing Popular and said with the snarkiest voice possible, "can you NOT." 

Excuse me? Did you really just say that. It's not like I'm acting like the theater is my living room. I'm civilized. I can act accordingly at a show so pump the breaks, lady. It's not nearly as bad as she was making it seem. 
Then once the intermission hits, she leans over me while she was walking up the isle and says with the most condescending tone, "you have bad theater etiquette." Seriouslyyyy.

Now I get it...you're seeing a show and if someone is singing along, it can get annoying. But lets be clear— I was humming along to two, maybe three songs, quieter than a whisper. Even humming is an over-statement. I highly doubt it was as annoying as she made it seem. I paid just as much for the seats and I am enjoying myself. I've seen the show a half a dozen times, dammit. Do you blame me? 
But that wasn't all.

About 20 minutes later, a woman behind me taps me on the shoulder and says, "you are distracting me because you keep moving your head." Jesus, can I not do anything right? Good thing my friend had my back because I needed to keep my composure. Maybe my large head with big curl hair and the fact I'm 5'9 pissed her off. 

If you frequent the theater you are probably reading this and saying, "she is that person." But I'm not...at least I don't think. The people I was with even said both women were being over dramatic. There were kids rows behind me that I could hear but do you see me freaking out? NO, because they clearly have seen the show and are enjoying themselves because they paid for those seats to be amused for two hours. These women made it seem like I was belting each word, dancing in the isle and thrusting back and forth every time there was a beat. You want to snap at me? I'll show you loud...I'll show you distracting. 

Clearly I don't take criticism well, in this case. And while I am writing this I can kinda understand their frustration. I didn't just piss off one person, I pissed off two. So clearly I won't see Wicked again because I like it too much. So if you like a play and have seen it an obscene amount of times, I would discourage going for the thousandth time because people might get pissed. 

I'm mind blown by all of this. I take the intermission to vent to my friends to try and wrap my head around this. Was I that bad?  

In the second half of the show, I try to stay as still as possible. Reaching over for my wine made me nervous because I didn't want the woman behind me to throw a fit. I just tapped my foot instead. 

The show ends. The theater is piling out and while I'm standing in the isle letting people go before me because I'm a well mannered patron. The woman sitting in front of me who was behind me in the isle says, "just push her" to her friend. Lady, you've pushed the wrong person's buttons. But instead of going Johnston on their ass, I kindly let the entire row exit before me and I said in a very sweet voice, "OK folks, no pushing." 

In short, I have wicked bad theater etiquette and if you have an extra ticket, don't take me. Has anyone dealt with this before? Am I just a terrible person for liking Wicked so much? You learn from your experiences so next time, if there is a next time, I'll wear a straight jacket and put duct-tape on my mouth.

Am I sorry I distracted those women, yes. But am I sorry for enjoying myself, not at all.

Clearly, it's days later and I'm not over it, but I'll own my indiscretion.


  1. The post is absolutely fantastic! I love it:)


  2. oh goodness gracious those people were a little over the top. I have not seen wicked. But I've sat behind people who talked during shows for the entire half, we just asked to be moved somewhere else and they moved us. Or if there was enough people complaining the people distracting were moved. You should have just behaved how you wanted. When you are tall you just need to be who you are and let people get over it. You should have been free to enjoy the show, you paid for those tickets too. Humming and sing-along is what your suppose to do!

  3. So I'm a theater person--worked in theater for years and am now a season ticket holder--and I move my head around all the time. I can't help it, so I feel you there. But it does drive me crazy when people talk/hum/sing during a show. I don't usually say anything about it, but it does bother me.

  4. Well, now I know, so I definitely won't do it again.

  5. We think you and your hair is beautiful and that lady needs to find another seat!