Monday, March 26, 2007

Standing Ovation

Gather around children. Amanda's got a serious rant on today. This past week I went to see three live theatre productions. Only one of these productions was less than 3 hours long. My ass? She does not thank you.

Now these productions were of varying quality, ranging from the extremely poor to the kinda weird but very captivating to the pretty good but kinda long. Now I know that my opinion about theatre doesn't matter more than anyone elses (except Kirsten's) but....no, wait. My opinion about theatre does matter more than some. Why? Because I see a lot of fucking theatre. Now, whether or not something is to my taste or your taste is up for grabs...but the basics? I know the basics.

I'm veering away from the point here. Let me bring it back around. Let's get to what we're really here to talk about today. What's on the minds and in the hearts of theatre buffs the world over.

The standing ovation.

Wikipedia has this to say about the standing ovation:
A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding. This action is done on special occasions by an audience to show their approval and is done after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim.

Extraordinary. You heard it here first folks. Now please follow this through to it's logical conclusion. You stand for a performance that makes an impact, a performance that is unforgettable, a performance that moves you.

It is inappropriate...nay, it is wrong to stand because:
a) you feel obligated
b) you know the lead actor
c) you directed the play
d) you are glad it's over

I assume that was what was going on this week, because neither of the two shows I saw that received standing ovations deserved them.

Oh yeah, that's right. I'm vocalizing my opinion that shitty theatre and only pretty good theatre don't deserve your standing ovations. What are you going to do about it? Nothing of course.

Do you think the world would be a better place if we are nicer to each other? Well you're wrong. It'd be a fucking boring place.

6 comments:

Meg said...

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Well, I do.

Meg said...

Okay, I just had a thought?

Will I be a lesser person if I leap to my feet on Friday night, so moved by the performances and score and wonder of the script?

And the matching junk?

Kevin said...

Well said!

I just gave this post a standing ovation!

PS: Really.

RostockRose said...

I laughed when a playwright friend of mine who went to the second of those two shows told me that he stood up (because the people immediately around him did) but he didn't clap. As if the under clapping would balance out the over standing.

Myself I prefer to clap while sitting, but its awkward - I feel like people around you think you hated the show - which may or may not be true. I could have any of a wide range of judgements from 'yikes that was bad' to 'yeah that was all right, I guess'.

Lady Rose said...

Fortunately we travel in packs so at least it's a whole bunch of us not standing. Not standing when by yourself is more awkward.

I'm thinking about bringing a fake cast to every show. Then I can slap it on if it looks like the crowd will stand.

I'll point to my cast with a sad, bemused look in my eyes. "Oh boy, I wish I could...but I have this fake cast on and all"

Meg said...

I'm not wrong for wanting to give Blades of Glory a standing ovation, am I?

If it was more socially acceptable, I would have.

Now why is it that I'm okay with sitting through an SO, but not willing to give a solo SO?