Cell phones banned on Broadway!

It’s started, folks. New York takes the first step towards sanity by charging a $50 fine for

. Now, how do we get our local theaters to follow suit?

Great a toothless unenforceable law. Nice in theory but sadly…

**“Wireless phones are part of a long list of potentially inconsiderate behavior, a list that includes talking during performances, singing aloud – except when sanctioned – unwrapping candy and cough drops and even attending a public performance when suffering from a cough or allergy,” said Thomas Wheeler, the group’s president. “No matter how laudable the goal, the city cannot legislate courtesy and common sense.” **

…sums it up pretty well.

When is singing sanctioned? And who sanctions it? What about a spontaneous sing along (as Ray Bolger used to do in Where’s Charley?)? Get the whole theathre singing and then slap everyone with $50 fines.

I’m sure that people with allergies will take this one to court. I’m fairly certain that prohibiting “attending a public performance when suffering from a cough or allergy” will be challanged as an ADA violation (with New York judges? Certainly!).

Zev Steinhardt

Why don’t they just jam the carrier signals?

Oh, I forgot, politicians are cheaper.

Re-read that, Zev. World Eater was quoting someone saying that those are the kind of things you cannot legislate against. That’s not the text of the ordinance.

Of course they do this after I move out of the city.

Still, it’s going to be difficult to enforce. I remember missing the climax moment of the Seussical because some jackass’ cell phone went off right at that exact moment - and he started talking on it. I leaned forward and told him to get off, the woman next to him told him to get off or the phone would go somewhere that he’d have trouble getting it out of - I was nicer, but her approach worked:).


Oh. I’m sorry… :o :smack:

I’ll go be quiet now…

Zev Steinhardt

Having just been to a performance of Les Miz last night, and having one of my favorite songs (Eponine’s “On My Own”) interupted by a cellphone, I’d say I think it’d be perfectly justified to hire a professional sniper and give him a seat high in the balcony. Screw this $50 fine crap. High caliber rounds will solve the problem much more effectively.

Yes, but there’s the issue of over-penetration and splatter.

Kevin Spacey claims that, in the middle of one of his soliloquies in “The Iceman Cometh” on Broadway, someone got a call on his cellphone and started carrying on a conversation. Spacey says he snarled at the guy, “Tell them we’re BUSY!”

I heard a similiar story about Katherine Hepburn-she stopped mid-performance and told the offender to shut up.

This is, I am sure, the most useless, most unenforcable, most asinine law ever passed by a city council this week.

I think the problem would be solved if theater operators grew some balls and kicked out annoying patrons, especially if there was lots of violence involved.

My suggested method wasn’t violent enough? :confused:

I don’t see anything wrong with calling people just so they can listen to the music or whatever… besides the fact that they didn’t pay to hear it. What I’m saying is, that’s not really disturbing anyone, is it?


That’s not really the issue, Hallo Space Girl. The big complaint are the people who don’t have the courtesy/sense to turn off or at least place on vibrate their cellphones/pagers, so that an incoming call doesn’t disturb the other patron’s enjoyment of the performance.

In a quiet theater hanging on every word of a softly sung song or stagewhispered dialogue, those ringtones can be especially jarring, even from several rows away. Not to mention if you end up next to the miscreant, you at the very least have to deal with listening to him fumble for his phone, answer it and ask the person on the other end to call back later.

However, you do raise an interesting point, an outbound call could let someone rebroadcast a performance to someone who didn’t pay for a ticket. And in this era of filesharing, live performance remains a relatively reliable source of income. While people may have mixed opinions about intellectual property rights with regards to recorded material, it’s a diferent matter entirely for live performance. The ticket you buy carries certain contractual limitations, often which, include prohibitions of recording or rebroadcasting.

Maybe but here in Montgomery County they are trying to do the same thing, except in movie theaters and some even said most any place public. They will not do anything for driving with a cell phone but in a theater let’s give em hell.

I’m pretty sure that would be illeagle.

You know broadcasting something when you don’t have the right to do so.

I think the cel phone thing will be enforceable as there are plenty of cops around the Time Square area. Usher goes and tells the person to come to the lobby while anothe usher goes outside, walks ten feet and gets a cop.

Maybe they should have never relaxed the dress codes for broadway shows. I know nicely dressed poeple do rude things as well but maybe the ‘You had better be dress up’ implies better ‘You had better behave’ more on people.

I don’t necessarily think that’s the problem because the people I’ve always seen answering cell phones are nicely-dressed “I’m too important to be sitting in a show for three hours with my phone off the whole time” people. I’m an avid Broadway fan, went to at least one show a month when I lived in the city, and I always went casual. Unless I had friends in from out of town, I was pretty much a jeans-and-fitted-shirt kind of gal.


I seem to remember some cell phone ads a few years ago in which some women went to a concert (dear God I want to say Rick Springfield?!) and held up their phones so their friends back home could hear the music. I suppose the point was to emphasize the crystal clear connection of the phone in question.

I don’t quite understand how this is going to be enforced, although I agree with the sentiment behind it (that of providing an uninterrupted entertainment to people who’ve paid to hear/listen/watch it without the intrusion of clever ringtones and folks yakking blithely away).