Do You Hear The People Sing? Singing A Song To Angry Men

by admin on January 28, 2013

Today’s post about lip-synching on the bus reminded me of this story from a few weeks ago.

A few days after Christmas, I went with my sister to see Les Miserables. The theater was large, and full but not packed, with maybe about 250 people in a theater that could sit 300. We got a good seat near the top, and settled in.

Seated immediately behind us were three girls who looked to be in their late teens/early 20s, and they looked to be in costume. One was wearing a slightly ridiculous blonde wig and a Renaissance Fair style dress, one was dressed like a girl dressed like a boy, and one had her hair pulled back and corpse-y makeup on her face. Okay, sure, why not? I’m only 30, I remember a decade ago when going out looking ‘different’ was a thing. No big deal. As soon as the previews began, they were forgotten.

The film started. I knew it was a musical, that the movie had singing instead of dialogue. This was new to me, but it looked interesting and I was eager to see what happened, as I was only slightly familiar with the story. When the male lead began to sing, I thought he sounded off– like, the speakers had an echo or something. Only when I heard someone down the aisle “shush” the girls behind us did I realize one had been singing along, out loud, in a deep Hugh Jackman-y voice.

She quieted down after being shushed and an hour or so went by without incident. A bit more than halfway through, a big number came on, Eponine singing “On My Own.” Apparently the drama was too much for the trio behind us, because all three of them sang the entire thing, out loud, not even trying to be quiet… poorly, might I add.

People were telling them to be quiet, my sister and I included. They were cowed for the end, when they got to their feet to sing the epilogue.

On the way out, the crowd was giving the girls a hard time. One woman told them they had ruined the movie for her, and the one dressed as Fantine countered that the rest of the theater had ruined the film for them by telling them to be quiet. And then they ran out of the theater singing “Do You Hear the People Sing” as loud as they could. 0124-13

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon January 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

lakey’s post reminded me of something that happened some years back. My boyfriend at the time and I had gone to an afternoon showing of Prince Caspian. The theater was full.

The couple next to us stage-whispered and narrated throughout the first half hour of the movie. It was simultaneously the most bizarre and insipid thing I’d ever seen in a theater. “I bet they’re at Cair Paravel!” “I bet they find their gifts!” “When do you think Aslan will show up?” “Is that Susan or Lucy? I thought Lucy had the horn and Susan had the bow!” It was like they were describing the film for some unseen third party, or that they had experienced some form of delusion that made them believe they were in their own home.

Finally, my patience was up and I leaned over and quietly asked them to please stop talking because it was interrupting the movie. The husband and wife conferred for a moment, then the husband said, “I’m sorry, but if you don’t want to hear us talk you’re going to have to move.”

Once I removed my jaw from the (sticky) floor, I let the couple know that the theater was full, we had gotten there first, and repeated my request for them to FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY STOP NARRATING A MOVIE WE ARE ALL WATCHING. YOU ARE NOT ANY MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THE FILM. (Well, except more calmly and politely than that.)

At this point, the husband left for a moment, and when he returned he told his wife that the manager was refusing to eject me. That’s right – he wanted me booted from the theater for politely asking him to shut his trap, and was upset that he didn’t get his way.

….And that’s when I gave up on seeing films in the theater. Though sometimes I like to imagine the conversation he had with the manager, “My wife and I are trying to have an extended conversation about the movie we’re both watching, and this rude woman next to us ACTUALLY WANTS TO HEAR THE MOVIE.”

Entitlement culture run amok.

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ferretrick January 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm

When Mamma Mia came out there were singslong showings, at least in my city. I didn’t get a chance to go, but it sounds like a blast. Jsut randomly singing at any show, though? No. Not acceptable.

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The Elf January 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Exactly, Lakey. Since the 90s, I have gone from a steady once-a-week movie goer to a once-a-month (if that) movie goer. The reason why is exactly as you state: The kid noise. It’s mostly children and teens, but I’ve seen adults chatter through it or answer phones. Getting the usher accomplishes nothing. Shushing them politely has resulted in a fight. Literally! Combine that with rising prices and better home theatre equipment, and I only go to the movies now for the big visual production movies that I’ve been eagerly anticipating (like The Hobbit).

The industry people wonder why ticket sales are down. THIS IS WHY.

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Tricia January 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I had a similar experience on Friday evening.

I saw Les Mis for the first time when I was 9 years old and fell in love with it. I have been in 3 productions of it and have seen it live more times than I can count. To say I know every single word of the score frontwards, backwards and sideways is an understatement.

I am a voice teacher and love to sing. However, I realize that people are paying money to heard the actors and actressess, that were paid millions of dollars to do so, sing – not me.

I went with a group of women to see the movie. Two had little knowledge of Les Mis and the other one was a fan. The woman that was a fan is more of an aquaintance, and I don’t know her well at all.

Unfortunately for me, our group and anyone sitting within hearing distance, this aquaintance chose to sing every single song of the movie. :( Dirty looks and throat clearings didn’t work. I didn’t feel comfortable with personally asking her to stop, as she is good friends with two of my good friends.

If it had been a stranger, I would have immediately gone to the movie theater personel.

It is very unfortunate that people like this choose to be soooo inconsiderate of others.

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nk January 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm

After the second time, when it was clear that they planned to do this throughout the movie and that they weren’t going to stop when asked, I would have informed an employee of the situation. They most likely would have gotten kicked out; at the very least, they might have been more likely to listen if someone in a position of authority told them to be quiet.

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Wendy B. January 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Geez, why did you put up with it? Go out into the lobby, get a theater worker, complain, ask them to deal with it.

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Princess Buttercup January 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Someone should have gotten up early on and found a manager to complain to.

You want to sing along you hit a weekday early showing. My friend and I used to go on Tuesdays and Wednesdays around 2pm and have the theater completely, or nearly so, to ourselves. We interacted with all the movies, talking back to the actors, etc when the theater was empty.

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Beryl January 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I saw someone comment about people who read aloud subtitles to their friends who are too lazy to read and I had to put my two cents in. If I’m out to see a movie with my boyfriend and subtitles appear on the screen I will read them to him as quietly as I can. Why? Well, my boyfriend is dyslexic. Dyslexia is not just about mixing up and flipping letters, it’s also about comprehension. It takes him longer to read and understand something than it does for me. If the subtitles are short enough, he can read them, but sometimes it’s a lot of text that goes by too quickly for him which is where I come in. Again, I try to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb any other moviegoers and we usually try and sit away from the others, anyway.

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Ella January 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I agree with admin – I only want to see the Les Mis film as a sing along, but obviously I would only do so at a showing that was specifically for that!

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Another Alice January 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Ahhh!! I love/loathe these stories! I sometimes think I’m the only one who basically has to mentally prepare myself to go to a movie, so as not to lose it on the dozens of people who apparently have no idea how to behave in a public space. I can’t stand going to a theater, live or a movie, and people sing along. Truly, even if you’re a professional singer, I am not paying to hear you. In addition, two close friends of mine text during films, and I become absolutely evil about it. No matter how many times I say it, the fact that, even IF the sound on your phone is off, the bright light and shuffling around/clicking noise of the keys STILL IS IRRITATING THE HECK OUT OF ME. I mean, maybe the people around us don’t notice as much, but I do.

It’s funny this is the topic today, and so many people are posting about children in theaters. I’m a performing arts teacher for VERY little children, and one of the things we practice is the idea of “audience” and “performer.” When the kids take turns playing an instrument, or taking a bow, or whatever, we go over several times how the person with the instrument or standing is the performer. If that person is not you, then you are NOT to talk, NOT to cover your ears, and you clap for them when they’re finished. I sincerely believe this is the most important lesson I’m teaching them; way more so than the fine details of music notes or facial expressions. If they “get it” by the end of the year that they’re to remain as quiet as possible during a performance, I’ve done my job! ;-)

Really though – it isn’t that hard to teach kids basic things like that. And no, they will not be perfect the first time you take them to see a show. But that’s why you start with things not just “appropriate” for kids, but things that COUNT on kids as their audience. Plenty of movies and live theater shows are created with children in mind, and clearly the other parents aren’t going to bat an eye if your child wiggles a bit or accidentally speaks too loudly out of excitement. Then, gradually move up to other things. Oh, and not only this, there are plenty of movies and live shows that have special times for performances, during the day, for children and their families. I also have to question a parent taking a child under 10 to anything where it would be unlikely for other kids to be in attendance; that’s your first clue it might not be appropriate.

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Ashley January 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Someone else’s story reminded me of the last time I went and saw the Avengers in theaters. We were extra excited because it was during a weekend it had been re-released JUST for that weekend, and we didn’t think we’d have another chance to see it before it came out on DVD. My fiance and I claimed our usual seats in a strategic spot that 99% of the time leads us to a completely clear view of the screen the entire time. The movie had been going for about 20 minutes when all the sudden this family of five comes in, and proceeds to stop directly in front of us, while they discuss where to sit. I politely said “Excuse me, we can’t see, would you mind looking for seats a bit closer to the door so you aren’t blocking anyone?” The woman looked at me like I had just asked her to do something unthinkable, but by that time the man had seen some seats and lead them away. The two oldest children quite loudly spent a good chunk of the movie asking questions to the father, while the mother spent most of the time walking back and forth in front of where the stadium seats started (and where my fiance and I were sitting) casually chasing her three year old daughter who clearly had no idea how to behave in such a situation. They stopped any time an usher came in but started it up again as soon as he left. It sucked.

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TLS January 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I had a similar experience at Wicked. They had a revival of the show in San Francisco in 2009 and I attended with a friend who hadn’t seen it (I saw it the first time it came to the city). Most of the patrons around us had seen the show before and were coming back with friends and family who had not seen it. It was actually a nice atmosphere prior to the show, while those around us chatted eagerly about how great the show and the music is, where they saw it the first time, where they were coming from to see it, etc., etc., etc. All was fine until a group directly in front of us started to loudly tell every detail of the story to one of their party who hadn’t seen it before! I waited to see if anyone else would speak up, but lost my patience and finally said, “Could you not tell the story? I don’t know if you heard everyone else, but there are people here who haven’t seen it.”

“Well, our friend hasn’t seen it either.”
“And so that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?”

They gave me the dirty look after that, but I’m glad I spoke up…theater tickets aren’t cheap!

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SKM January 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

A couple dear friends and I went to a showing of “The Negotiator.” It was a weeknight and the theater was empty except for us and another couple. Everyone was respectful, but I didn’t realize how much my friend Juli was into watching the movie, because during a pivotal scene, all of the sudden she yelled out “He’s in the trunk! The trunk!” It scared the hell out of everyone. But luckily, the other couple burst out laughing and although we had committed a huge faux pas – that still is one of my favorite stories to tell people.

But annoying people chatting through the movie or singing along? Makes me want to chuck my drink at them.

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KitKat January 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

@ Mary: I was 7 when I saw Phantom live for the first time. Because my parents had the CD, my brother and I knew the gist of the story and knew people died so we wasn’t bothered for most of the performance. Even sitting right under the chandelier didn’t bother us (my brother and I were warned that it would “fall”). I admit to nearly jumping in my mother’s lap when the Phantom shot fireballs but I stayed quiet.

@ Beryl: I agree with reading subtitles to people. I have difficulty reading small print and sometimes the subtitles AREN’T big enough for me. Thankfully, the friend I normally see movies with knows this and will read them to me in a voice appropriate for the theater if there are any.

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Anonymous January 28, 2013 at 9:21 pm

You know, on further reflection, I think technology has just gotten ahead of us. Why? Well, when I was a kid, back in the 80’s, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and played Donkey Kong on Commodore 64’s, going to the movies was an Event–it was a big, special, grown-up outing, where you had to be on your best behaviour, so as not to disturb the other audience members; just like going to the theatre was a big, special grown-up outing, where you had to be on your best behaviour, so as not to disturb the other audience members OR the performers. Anyway, if you misbehaved at either of these places, then your parents would remove you immediately, which was a big deal, because that movie wasn’t going to be coming out on video for about a year (assuming you even had a VHS machine, which my family didn’t until I was twelve). As most people know, a year is FOREVER when you’re five or six. So, if you knew what was good for you, you sat quietly and watched. Every so often during my youth, I’d see a tantrumming child being hauled out of the theatre by angry and embarrassed parents, and I’d take that as a cautionary tale.

Gradually, as I got older, the time span between theatrical releases and home video releases got progressively shorter, more people got VHS players, and later, DVD players, and then, along came Netflix, shortly after the massive plasma screen TV fad, which followed a few years after Orville Redenbacher came out with microwave popcorn that was meant to mimic movie theatre popcorn, during those last few years before all the hoopla about obesity started. So, nowadays, people can pretty much see any movie, anytime they want, without having to go to the theatre. This is a mixed blessing, because it means that people don’t have to deal with theatre crowds, and rude people, but it also means that there’s less incentive for kids to learn how to behave in a movie theatre, and for parents to TEACH their kids how to behave, because hey, they can always just watch movies at home.

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missminute January 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I find singing along to films/theatre shows a really odd and embarrassing behaviour. I never in a million years could understand how someone want so badly to sing along that they would humiliate themselves in public!

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Kimberly January 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

When New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi were rereleased into theaters. I took my young cousins. At one point I removed one of them because He would NOT stop talking. He and I had a conversation and he was pretty good after that (except for him saying YUCK that is her brother during one kissing scene)

So during Return of the Jedi there were only 3 groups in the theater. An older gentleman with 2 young kids behind me. 3 mid 20’s with shaved heads, camo, and combat boats in front of us.

The three in front made some very rude comments. Normally I speak up but in this case I wasn’t sure if the guys were military or possibly skin heads (near a military base but also some hate groups in the area). Given my very positive experiences with people from Goodfellow, I was doubting these guys were military. I started to gather up my cousins and go complain to the management and ask for tickets to a later movie. (Even if they had spoken to the 3 and things had settled, I wouldn’t have felt safe after the usher left) The gentleman behind me stood up and told me “I’ll take care of it.” He walked up to the three and said something – they jumped to attention. After they sat down, we didn’t hear anything from them the rest of the movie.

After the movie was over – they apologized to my cousins and me before leaving. When the lights came up I realized I recognized the gentleman – He was general in charge of the AFB.

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Stella January 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

The local theatre by me actually announced a specific “fan sing-along” showing of Les Mis. I didn’t go to that one but I know from friends that work at the theatre that it was packed. Having sat through a “regular” showing, and being a HUGE fan of the musical, I can tell you it was darned hard not to sing along. So I popped in the CD in my car on the way home and sang to my heart’s content, and without disturbing anyone, ‘ cause I sound like a cat in heat when I sing…

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Shalamar January 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Very true, Anonymous. I remember when my school used to show a Disney movie in the gym on a big screen on the last day of classes. VCRs didn’t exist then (this was the early 70s), so for many kids, this was a rare opportunity to see “Cinderella”. Being forced to miss this treat due to misbehaving was a HUGE deal. Even the worst-behaved kids cleaned up their acts the week before classes ended.

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Kate January 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm

That is just rude. It is amazing how much other people’s thoughtless behaviour can put you off going to the movies (and turn you towards illegal downloads).

In my city, there is a large cinema that often holds screenings of movies like Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Sound of Music and Grease that are *advertised* as sing-alongs. People are encouraged to turn up in costume and sing to the songs. Maybe the people in OP’s story need to stick to events like these, or better yet, watch movies in their own home if they can’t contain their singing.

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saurus99 January 29, 2013 at 3:12 am

Anonymous – wonderful description of watching movies in the 80’s! I too was a child at that time and I just want to say that you described what watchimg a movie in a cinema was for me – something I did very seldom and was a very BIG moment. Make a scene? Talk, scream or fuzz? Never! Even watching the advertisement before the movie started was great!

The first time I can remember being at the cinema and got the experience wasted by screaming and talking teenagers and adults was when I saw “Jurassic Park” (1) in 1993 or something like that… I hade to see the film several weeks later and in a small cinema…

(I’m not used to write in English; I’m from a country in northern Europe, but I hope my writing and spelling is OK…)

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--Lia January 29, 2013 at 4:47 am

On the subject of reading subtitles out loud– It’s great that you try to do it quietly and great that you try to sit far from others when doing it, but if the reading is loud enough to disturb anyone, then it’s too loud. And loud enough to disturb anyone is pretty quiet. Even whispers can ruin a movie. We’re not talking about a single whisper, we’re talking about noise that continues throughout the whole movie. There really is no voice that’s appropriate for a movie theater. I’m sympathetic to those who have dyslexia or anything else that makes it difficult for them to read, see or comprehend, but I can’t see that one person’s having a condition that makes reading difficult trumps another’s right to enjoy a movie without disturbance. From the point of view of the person being disturbed, it really doesn’t matter if the whispering is to help someone read or because they want to take a cell call or because they enjoy singing along. If I were at a movie where someone was whispering throughout, I’d get a movie employee to explain that talking through the movie is not allowed. If the management wasn’t able to fix the problem, I’d never patronize that theater again.

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michelle January 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

Ugh.

I’ve seen Les Mis on stage 5 times. I’ve memorized the soundtrack. I’ve been told I have a beautiful singing voice. In fact, all modesty aside, I know I have a beautiful singing voice.

And I know I would vastly resent anyone in the theater thinking that I came to hear them (I didn’t), or I came to find out from them how the story goes (I didn’t) or I need to see that they know this musical by heart (I don’t).

Keep it to yourself, folks. It really isn’t all about you.

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mumsyjr January 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

I’m with Lola- rude but funny! I can definitely see something like this happening with me and my friends when I was in my teens, although in general we were all pretty good about shushing if we were shushed. Something to keep in mind when dealing with teenagers: they have not developed the inhibitory neurology a full adult has yet. It’s literally harder for them to stop themselves. Their pre-frontal cortex is also not quite cooked yet (and won’t be until about 25), so they have a harder time foreseeing consequences and gauging social appropriateness. I don’t think this means they shouldn’t be corrected, they definitely should be confronted with their misbehavior as part of the learning process (although they will often either get defensive, or run away laughing). But I find when I remember that they really are still developing I don’t feel as frustrated and can laugh these things off (once they are out of sight and I have stopped playing Stern Adult). Adults misbehaving in the movie theater on the other hand….

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baby January 29, 2013 at 11:36 am

My husband took me to see a live performance of Les Mis for my birthday this year. The older couple (50’s-60’s) next to us would not shut up through the first act, and although this wasn’t really his thing, he knew their chatter was ruining it for me and possibly others. He gently tapped the one next to him on the leg with his playbill as a silent “Please be quiet!” They obviously knew better than to talk in a theater (especially at a live performance), and looked down in shame.
It drives me crazy when people so selfishly ruin these kinds of experiences for the others trying to enjoy them. Such a “Me First” attitude.

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Purple panda January 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

My boyfriend and I made the mistake of seeing A Woman in Black during a wet afternoon, while the local schools were on holiday. The film is a 12A, meaning kids under 12 can see it if they have an adult with them, well there seemed to be a lot of kids who wanted to see it because “Harry Potter” was in it. Big mistake. Kids were screaming and crying all the way through, until an usher made a load of them leave.

So parents, make sure you actually know what the film is about before you take your little darlings along, and I shall make sure never to see a film during half-term again.

Ironically, when I went to see The Hobbit, for the second time, it was a late night viewing and a child sat behind us with his family. The kid was good as gold all the way through except twice when he quietly asked a question. His family of six then shushed him so loudly that everyone nearby turned around and stared at them.

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LovleAnjel January 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

@Kimberly

I saw the re-released of A New Hope at a midnight showing full of adult fans (about 1/3 in costume). When the kiss happened, the entire theater said “Eeeeeeew!”

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MGirl January 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Ugh, people talking/singing during movies are the worst. I vividly remember a movie I saw a few years ago, NOT because it was a memorable movie, but because a couple sitting behind me talked the entire time. I can’t give you a coherent summary of what went on onscreen because I was so distracted by these people’s conversation. I do remember that at one point, a character reiterated a crucial plot point after having made this point earlier in the movie, and one of the people behind me exclaimed, “Oh my God, you mean he’s [crucial plot point]!” I was ready to tear my hear out. What’s worse is that these people were middle-aged adults and we live in a college town – an Ivy League college town, no less – meaning they definitely should know better!

On a related note, I remember once in high school I went to a movie with a group of friends. We got dropped off early and when we got into the theater nothing was playing yet (the screen was blank), so we started talking among ourselves. There was another woman who had gotten to the theater early, and after a few minutes of us talking she turned around to us and said, “Girls, are you going to talk like this all through the movie?” We were more than a little annoyed that she assumed we had no manners just because we were young – and even more annoyed when her phone went off in the middle of the movie.

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Kay January 29, 2013 at 5:07 pm

While the girls were certainly rude, I also think your focus upon their attire, which had nothing to do with their transgression, is also uncouth. Personally, were I so illiterate as to have never read one of the world’s 25 greatest novels and, therefore, was unable to recognize that these girls were simply and excitedly dressed in CHARACTER (not seeking attention by dressing “differently,” as you erroneously condescendingly grant), I certainly would not admit so on an immensely popular website.

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Shalamar January 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Kay, I find it a bit odd that you accused OP of being condescending and then said that anyone who has never read Hugo’s “Les Miserables” is illiterate. I have never read it myself, but I would never call myself illiterate!

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Kate January 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm

MGirl, that reminds me of an episode of the British show The IT Crowd. One of the characters is desperate to watch this new movie and he knows there’s a twist in it, but doesn’t know what it is. He watches it with his boss, who spends the *entire* movie trying to predict the twist. “They’re all dead! He’s his own brother!” etc. Eventually he just gives up.

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delislice January 30, 2013 at 8:31 am

Holy cow! I also did not realize how lucky I was not to have gotten any sing-alongers when (as a Christmas present) my sainted musical-hating husband took me to a Christmas Day showing of Les Mis in a packed theater.

Singing along — that’s why you keep the soundtrack CD in the car, folks! At least, that’s why I do.

I suspect a lot of these sing-alongers, at Les Mis and elsewhere, are showing off. I once attended an opera (where, for those prices, you really DO expect better behavior) of The Merry Widow. The woman behind me was quietly humming along. Luckily, one quick raised-eyebrow glance put an end to it, but all in our group agreed it was show-offy.

@Kay: Really? She hadn’t seen the movie and therefore didn’t recognize the iconic costumery? I actually have read the book, and don’t recall any or many clothing descriptions. Outside of Javert, who wears a police uniform, I doubt I would be able to say definitively who was dressed as whom in Les Mis. A trifle condescending.

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mojo January 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

If only everyone would subscrbe to the BBC Five ‘Cinema Code of Conduct’, we could all enjoy the film!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/films/code_of_conduct.jpg

Maybe you can take a copy to hand to the next idiots who decide it’s a sing-a-long!

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MidoriBird January 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

Kind of makes me glad that the only times I’ve been unable to resist singing to Les Miserables is when I’m playing the musical on tape, at home…alone!

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NotCinderell January 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I think there’s a time and a place to sing along to movie musicals. At a first-run showing, during prime viewing times, is NOT that time.

Though I do admit that my husband and I sang our way (in two part harmony) through a showing of “Once.” It was at a university auditorium, several months or maybe a year after the movie had been through theaters in our area. the auditorium was far from full, and we were not the only ones singing.

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Ella January 31, 2013 at 1:18 am

I experienced something similar to this during the final Lord of the Rings movie. An older couple sitting near my friends and I treated us to
‘Who’s that?’
‘Oh that’s Faramir, (recounts all of Faramir’s life story, including several spoilers’
‘What are those people doing?’ etc etc
These days I would say something, but at the time we were teenagers, and figured (based on previous treatment) that most ushers wouldn’t believe three teenage girls over a respectable looking couple .

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momofeveryone January 31, 2013 at 1:28 am

i took my 3 year old son, my 6 month old daughter, and my 2 nieces who were 4 and 3 to see a movie this summer. not a peep was made. they new we would walk right out and i would call my sisters, and then they would really be in trouble. im not paying that much money for you to act like an idiot.

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The Elf January 31, 2013 at 8:28 am

Oh, Kay, did you hit a hot button with me on that one.

I love the musical “Les Miserables”, but the novel leaves me cold. And, mind, I love to read a good tome! The length of the book is not intimidating, nor is the subject matter. But Hugo’s writing is not my style. The book might be a classic, but it would never make my top 25 great novels. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is better, but it still doesn’t do much for me. Perhaps it is the translation. I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve never made it all the way through that book, and I’m pretty far from illiterate! Just because YOU love the novel doesn’t make it a novel that EVERYONE loves and should be intimately familiar with, lest they be shamed at their ignorance.

Certainly it wouldn’t take much to pick up that the girls were dressed in character and not just out to look “different”, but I do think the point is pertainent. It illustrates that they are superfans.

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photochick January 31, 2013 at 6:38 pm

The Elf: You are not the only one who can’t stand the book. I’ve read some/most of it. Skipping parts where he gets long winded and never quite making it to the end. There are some authors who just don’t understand how to move a story along and Hugo is (in my opinion) one of them. And no it’s not the translation because I tried reading it in French too. I got a bit farther but still had no desire to finish it.

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Enna February 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

This is when you get an usher or manager to warn them to be quiet or they will be kicked out.

I remeber going to see one film at the cinema about 10 years ago or so and there was an annoucement made by a staff member at the front of the cinema. “If your mobile phone goes off during the film you will leave and your ticket will not be refunded.” I think they must have had a lot of complaints just before at other showings or something. Or he might have seen an “offender”.

The story about the man who was talking, speaking to the manager to try and get the poster kicked out for telling him to be quiet was just funny. I would have so gone to the manger and asked him/her to kick the rude ppl out.

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Jess February 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

This story made me so mad. People are incredibly rude sometimes when they’re fans. I understand it being hard not to sing along or make commentary during a film, especially if you’re a superfan. For example, I am a huge LOTR fan: I literally grew up on the books and cartoons (my father is also a superfan, if that explains it); I had read all three books plus “The Hobbit” and “The Silmarillion” by 3rd grade, which is about when the first of the Jackson films came out. Naturally, I had complaints about the movie straying from canon. Nevertheless, my father took me to see the next film (“The Two Towers”) in threatres during opening weekend. I was 10 years old. About half an hour into the film, I wanted to strangle this group sitting in front of us (and Peter Jackson, lol). They were just beginning to read the books, judging from their conversation: they constantly mispronounced the characters’ names, argued about plot points, etc. They weren’t being loud or anything; they were quietly talking amongst themselves, so it’s not like they were disrupting anyone. Still, I would have launched my 10-year-old body right on top of them if I didn’t catch my father’s eye. We suffered through it, and complained to our hearts’ content in the car on the way home.
Understandably, that group in the theatre drove me mad. I was a major fan, and they were unfamilar with the story. However, as my father pointed out to me, there will always be people who aren’t familar with the story; instead of lecturing them or complaining out loud during the film (or singing along, for that matter), it’s best to just sit back and let them enjoy the story and let them figure out what’s going on; if they want to know the “real” story, they will buy the books and read them at their own pace. I’d say that the OP’s experience was ruined by three rude girls who didn’t pick up on that fact. It wasn’t fair to others in the theatre to have to listen to those girls sing. We get it…you’re a fan, you know the songs and the characters. To quote my father on that drive home from the theatre: “NEWSFLASH: No one cares that you’re a fan. Shut up and let them enjoy the film. You can talk about it/sing along/complain/etc. in the car.”

@Kay: I was deeply offended by your comment about the OP being illiterate. Just because someone has not read a certain book does not make them illiterate. My mother is an English teacher. She has never picked up LOTR in her life, and she doesn’t plan to. This is a woman who has read “The Canturbury Tales” in its original print, and who knows every single Shakespeare play by heart, yet she cannot make it through what is argubly the greatest fantasy saga of the modern age (much to my father’s and to my own chagrin). Does that make her illiterate? No, it does not. I’ve read “Les Miserables,” “Don Quioxte,” and “War and Peace,” but to this day I can’t make it through “Brave New World.” Does that mean I’m illiterate? No, it does not. My mother will not read LOTR because she finds Tolkien boring and she doesn’t like fantasy. I find dystopian/utopian novels to be boring and redundant. It’s a matter of personal taste. I’m pretty sure that the OP picked up on the fact that the girls were dressed up as characters from “Les Mis” and not just dressing up for funsies.

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Mabel February 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I think for films that are musicals, they should designate one particular showing where you’re allowed to sing along as loud as you like. This would ONLY be allowed at that particular showing, and any other time the theater should have ushers on hand to eject patrons who can’t keep their mouths closed. This would allow people to participate while not disturbing other patrons, and they could make a bunch of money off it. Market the crap out of it–“Come to our special sing-along promotional showing of Le Miz and get a free small drink!”

People would come in droves.

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Shannon October 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

This past Friday my friends and I attended the play “Les Miserable” here in Ocala FL. I was so excited as I had seen the movie and loved it. Sitting near me was a mother and her 2 daughters both in their 20’s. I thought “how nice” but much to my dismay, it quickly turned to WTH… The girls began chatting with each other and singing along with the play. Along with Fist pumps in the air. HUH! Then the iPod’s came out. Checking and Tweeting.. ERG!
Now I was trying to be nice but I was getting upset as they were ruining my night out. The mother of course was loving it. Oh my sweet little girls look how good they sing. BLECH! I’m thinking either your kids should have volunteered for the show or tried out if they wanted to be a part of it. So I quietly excused myself and went out to advise the matron. Either ask them to be quite or give me and my friends our money back. Unfortunately it was the last night of the play.
However, there were 3 little girls behind us that didn’t make a peep. We made it a point to congratulate the parents on their behaved girls. I was hoping the other mother was listening.
I can’t tell you how exasperating it is that people are so rude.
Camelot is playing in December and I will be going to see it. However, if I see these people, I will definitely make sure I am not seated by them.

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PatGreen October 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

This is perfectly acceptable behavior at home or when seeing Rocky Horror Picture show or something similar. In short when you’re not bothering anyone else or everyone is in on it – go ahead. Always be considerate of the people around you, that’s all we ask.

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