Editorial: Drinking in Theatres

I haven’t done an editorial for the site in quite a while, but after some events this weekend, I felt one was necessary. I had the pleasure of seeing the first national tour of “Wicked” this weekend, but for the evening show on Sunday night, there was a middle-aged woman sitting next to me who was a major distraction – why? Because she was absolutely plastered.

I understand why theatres choose to sell drinks, I really do – drinks bring in money and money is needed for any major business operation. My issue; however, is the amount that people choose to consume. It amazed me how a few shot glasses of wine turned this middle-aged woman into a four year old. At the beginning of the show, she was fine; smiling, clapping, laughing, and enjoying the show – but by the middle of act one, she was absolutely obnoxious – anytime anything funny would happen, she would loudly make a comment about it, laugh like a hyena, and snort. It was absurd – you don’t pay good money for a theatre ticket then get so plastered you won’t remember it.

To top it all off, during “I’m Not that Girl” and onward, she decided it would be appropriate to sing along with the show – and not well. I’m paying to hear the performers on stage sing, but instead I got to listen to her. But wait, it gets better – she had drank so much that every time she opened her mouth, this putrid smell came out – it was sickening.

I thought I would share this story partially to vent, but also to let any reader know who ever considers buying a drink at a theatre to strongly consider whether or not they can handle it without becoming ridiculous. I personally do not drink at all, but the idea of drinking in a theatre is absurd to me in any case.

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8 Responses to Editorial: Drinking in Theatres

  1. Marie says:

    What?! That is INSANE. I would be extremely annoyed. Why would you drink THAT much at a musical? How does that even begin to make sense?

  2. Lindsey says:

    I saw the 2nd NT in Richmond a couple of times in the past week and the same held true there. Beer and wine were sold as well as some food items. While I didn’t quite have the experience that you did, a young man was sitting next to me drinking beer and eating popcorn. He was quite pleasant, but I can certainly see how over-consumption by the less vigilant could taint the performance for a large number of people. I am not a fan of alcohol sales at theater venues.

  3. Isaac says:

    Trust me – I was annoyed – but I am such a non-confrontational person that I didn’t say anything. I need to learn to step up.

  4. Rach says:

    I’ve never really noticed anyone become drunk during the show (somehow I find it hard to believe someone can become that drunk during the show? Since the only time they can get a drink is before the show and during the interval, so that only means two drinks, pretty much!), most drunks I’ve encountered at Wicked have been drunk before the show started… doesn’t help that Wicked in London is surrounded by pubs!

  5. Isaac says:

    Well she left once during Act 1 to get another drink, and both she and her husband left during intermission – he came back in time but she didn’t. When she came back, he said “I got you something” and handed her another shot glass and she was like “Oh, I just had some” but she still drank it.

  6. Val says:

    In the Gershwin in NYC you can buy alcohol there but you aren’t allowed to take it to your seat. I was at the 2NT in Richmond also where the people around me weren’t drinking but they were eating popcorn. It was really distracting and I was thinking to myself “This isn’t a movie theatre”

  7. Jessica says:

    I don’t think they should serve alcohol at theatres at all.

  8. Patricia says:

    I can see why they sell it in the lobby…but taking it inside?? No. Aren’t wine stains hard to get out of upholstery? I can’t stand the smell of alcohol at all, it annoys me more than the worst cologne.

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