Last night, I discovered a completely new variant of this phenomenon sitting in front of me at Wooster Group's La Didone at REDCAT.
This guy was in STITCHES. At everything. And as you can imagine at a REDCAT performance, there is a certain kind of audience member that might be the theater/art school version of the young film school geeks at David Lynch movies, but no, this guy could've taught those students. His art school look was definitely a more professorial kind. I feel like he should've known better.
Honestly, I'm pleased that the guy was enjoying himself, but bouncing up and down constantly in a packed theater designed for multiple configurations is NOT a good idea. The entire row was rocking to his giddiness. The poor woman next to him was shooting menacing stares. The couple on the other side of his companion got up and either left or moved. If it had been a half-empty theater I would definitely have done the same thing. It was infuriating. My entire perspective on the performance became a reaction to his reactions.
It went something like this.
Why was that funny? This isn't really that funny. I don't know, is it just that I don't get it? No, I totally get it, or at least I think I do, and I mean, I love camp as much as the next guy, but this isn't JUST camp, is it? Oh wait, that was funny. I don't care if he laughed I'm going to laugh at that too. I thought that was funny. I don't care what he thinks. Oh, HAH, that was funny. He didn't even laugh at that, did he? Shows what he knows. God I wish he'd stop with the damn bouncing. Is that all he thinks this is? Some kind of meta-po-mo-camp exercise so he can make fun of old Italian opera and bad sci-fi for 90 minutes? I mean, it is the Wooster Group. I feel like I'm supposed to be thinking about what they're doing too, right? Like high-is-low-and-low-is-high and look-at-the-artful-love-and-death-juxtapositions or something. So why does everything have to be so goddamn hysterical? Seriously? . Oh, that part was cool. See? Like it really looked and sounded really intense. No, you didn't laugh at that, did you? DID YOU? Idiot. I hate that guy. I have a perfect angle on his neck; I could absolutely wring it right now. That's it. I'm going to strangle him. Watch his bald head go slump onto the shoulder of his mortified date. Now look at what you've done; you've made a perfectly docile theater blogger become completely distracted by a show he's been looking forward to all month by thinking dreadful thoughts about your violent demise. Happy now? Oh, look at him jump up at the curtain call. Whatever. I want to go home.Please, for the love of all that is good in the theater, do not be this guy. I really don't need to know that you get it. I don't. And if you want the actors to know, I'm sure they'll get it when you jump to your feet at the end. That's enough. It really is. GOD.