Broadway actress Glenn Close took a stand last month against cell phone usage during her performances.
In today’s world, it has become an accepted consensus that we, as a society, cannot survive without our mobile devices. No matter where we are, what we’re doing, or who we’re with, we can check our e-mail, browse social media, shop, or watch hilarious videos. Oh, and we can make phone calls, too (but who does that anymore? That’s so 90’s.)
Cell phones afford us a modern lifestyle in which we can be constantly connected, capturing anything and everything in immediate real-time. But many people are concerned that our constant reliance on cell phones is disengaging us from the real world in front of our faces; the one that isn’t on a tiny screen. Movie theaters have to precede previews by giving protocol to turn phones off, a rule that we all know many don’t bother to follow. Musicians at concerts worldwide are becoming so heated over phone usage during their concerts that they have walked offstage.
The phone usage epidemic is now leaking into the live theater world. According to multiple sources, actress Glenn Close, who is currently reprising her role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard on Broadway, seems to have had more than her fill of audience members taking photos from their phones during the show. During a matinée performance on May 24, she stopped the show mid-song to scold someone who was taking photos. According to multiple sources, including Broadway.com and People.com, Close politely requested that the phone be put away, stating that “…We can have a show or we can have a photo shoot.” She then started the number over from the top of the song.
Many lovers of the theater are praising Close, but still just as many are criticizing her, claiming that she had no right to call someone out, and should have left that job to the ushers and gone on with the show without interruption.
A majority of avid theater patrons are aware that there is an assumed protocol to follow when attending a performance: No talking, no sleeping, no getting up in the middle of a scene. It looks as though people have created their own loophole for taking pictures of performances.
It appears that this won’t be the case on Glenn Close’s watch.
Sunset Boulevard runs on Broadway through June 24.