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Stage Combat: Cell Phones in the Audience

The new Broadway drama "A Steady Rain" doesn't get a very good review in The Post today. But it's already a hit in my book for the way star Hugh Jackman showed his irritation at a cell phone that rang in the audience. Staying in character he confronted the offending audience member. "You want to get it?" he barked.

Britain's Guardian newspaper devoted several stories to the incident, just the latest involving well-known actors or singers. You can read about it here--and even see a video of it. Frankly, I could have done without the video, since it meant that someone had his mobile phone out and was filming the whole thing--yet another offending screen.

Guardian theater blogger Michael Simkins writes about how other thespians have handled similar interruptions, from ad-libbing to fixing the offender with a withering gaze.

Sadly, no one is ever hustled out of the theater and beaten with rubber hoses.

By John Kelly  |  September 30, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Radical Civility  
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Comments

not entirely true. i was at a show at the atlas theater on H street in the last year where there were a couple of teenagers who wouldn't shut up. one of the actors finally couldn't take it anymore, broke character, and went to get the house management.

the kids were escorted out of the building, and the rest of the audience was ecstatic!

Posted by: IMGoph | September 30, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

When a cell phone went off during The Iceman Cometh in NY, Kevin Spacey turned to the woman (she was in one of the first few rows) and said "Tell them we're busy." And waited for her to turn it off. He told the story on 60 Minutes.

Posted by: ead22 | September 30, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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