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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2 txt or not 2 txt

Peter Marks says it, so I don't have to:

If the 12 or so plagues visited on those of us who frequent the theater have long included incessant talking, lozenge unwrapping, armrest hogging and cellphone ringing, one has been added of late that is in some ways even more insidious: mid-performance text-messaging.....


A few weeks ago, at a Friday night performance of Synetic Theater's new "The Fall of the House of Usher," I watched as a man seated five or six rows from the stage of the Rosslyn Spectrum consulted a glowing little screen every two or three minutes. It became a production unto itself. Never mind that the vibrant one he had ostensibly come to see was a thrill for the eye. His eyes were glued to the tiny illuminated thing -- an experience he forced me to share.

What, I wondered, occupied this gentleman, and so many like him, before such things existed? Was it possible that they ever simply sat still? (I also marvel at how, before plastic bottles became essential at all times, people actually endured an entire hour of theater without taking a sip of water.) At another production, of a play by an Irish writer, three young women directly in front of me settled into their seats and a few minutes into the first act, pulled out their BlackBerrys and cellphones.

Weary of the drama, they began to send text messages -- to each other, I believe.

It's here to stay, I'm afraid. The smell of the greasepaint, the flicker of the crowd...

Hey, at least someone in the theatre is paying attention to text! Har, har, har...

Read more of Marks' riotous rant in the WaPo.

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