Tuesday, December 01, 2015


We went to see “Christmas Carol” over the weekend at the Glendale Theater with our friends, Disney animator Andrew Ramos and his wife Danielle. The actors were great, the costumes authentic, the singing heavenly. Then it happened midpoint in the first-half. Attack of the selfish cellphone addicts.
A man on my left and a woman to my right started playing with their phones. The light from their phones assaulted the delicate balance of the theater stage manager’s precise light. Their chuckling at their texts was out of sync with the pathos of the Three Ghosts, Scrooge, Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. Their inane conversations about where they are (“I’m in a theater at a play, feeling bored right now”) provoked irritation in me.
They slipped out as intermission broke and I knew my mission was to protect actors everywhere, having been the performer on stage myself when a cellphone addict in row three starts lighting up the place with their phone.
I found theater staff and asked them to make the following announcement: “Before we start Act Two, we need all audience members to turn off their cellphones and leave them off until the play ends out of respect to the actors and audience members.”
The cellphone addicts, miffed that their narcissism was rebuked, and that they would have to endure the torture of no phone for an hour, left the theater. We enjoyed Act Two in peace, and Scrooge’s conversion from miser to humanitarian took us to new heights as the acting company, (performing the play for the 50th year), knocked it out of the park.
The theater won this round of the battle with cellphone addicts, but we shall meet again. There will, unfortunately, be those selfish enough to play with phones during a film, play, or Christmas church service near you.

Pics of cast rehearsing: