Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Standing Ovation for Mediocrity: Oh No!

with 2 comments

Recently, due to the  number of theater productions and concerts that I attend, I have noticed a trend that is slightly disturbing to me. People giving standing ovations for mediocrity or for something that is terrible. Why does this bother me one might ask? Well, to be quite honest with you, it’s because of the idea behind the thing. You rise to your feet because you thought the performance was so moving that it was worthy to stand. It gives motion (other than the polite or uproarious clapping) to your appreciation of the work.

I am stingy with my standing ovations. I will be the first to admit it because I do not think that it is my duty as an audience member to molly coddle the performers. If I thought the performance was okay, I will clap. If I thought someone did a particularly good job, I will clap louder for them. Honestly, I have been to professional quality shows and sat in my seat as the remainder of the audience quickly rose to show their appreciation. It’s just one of those things. I have to stand my ground.

Partially, I think this whole not giving standing o’s thing is because I am a performer myself. I do not expect them. If the company gets them, I do have a sense of pride because of it. However, I also know that sometimes people give them just to be polite. So, I’m just going to say it to people who may not know.

It is not polite theater etiquette to stand up at the end of anything that you see…that is unless you throughly enjoyed it. Clap if you feel so inclined but don’t necessarily feel led to stand. Also, you don’t have to follow the herd mentality. If the guy beside you does it, you don’t have to do it.

So, there…I’ve spilled my ideas onto the page….one might say that it is a pet peeve of mine…along with talking loudly during performances…or sleeping (you paid for the tickets. Did you really need a $70 nap?)….Anyway, I digress. Maybe I’m a terrible person…who knows? Are there any other faux pas that should be addressed? Hmmmm….

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I totally agree, Barry. Another faux pas you might mention: people who clap in between movements of instrumental works or in between songs in song cycles that are meant to be continuously performed. Seriously? Read the program, people. And if you get lost, just watch the performers and/or conductor. If the conductor turns around, makes eye contact with the audience, and starts bowing, it’s usually the end of the piece.


    September 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    • I agree entirely…however, a lot of people just don’t know not to clap.


      September 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm

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