Written by Joe Janes
121 of 365
House Manager (voice-over)
(Lights up on an empty stage. House lights come up. We hear ambient audience chatter. The houselights gently flash twice and we hear an electronic bell ding twice. The audience chatter subsides.)
HOUSE MANAGER (VO)Good evening ladies and gentleman and welcome to the Goodman Theater. Our original production by a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright starring that actor you have seen somewhere before but don’t know where but recall that you liked them is about to begin. Please take this time to turn off all cell phones. Blackberrys and iPhones are, for the record, considered cell phones. If you have a pager, turn it off and throw it away, now. Please also turn off all respirators, oxygen tanks and Life Alert systems. If you have fallen and you cannot get up, please stay down until intermission when one of our ushers, likely to be even older than you, will nod sympathetically in your direction. Do, however, make sure your hearing aid is turned on and up. Please do that now. Unless, of course, you aren’t able to hear what I am saying. If you are near a senior citizen who is simply smiling and nodding, please nudge them and shout to them to crank up their hearing aid. If you have candy, breath mints or cough drops, please unwrap them now and hold them in your sweaty hand until they meld into one giant glob of artificially flavored high fructose corn syrup and aspartame. If you are amazed, and slightly appalled, that we even need to bother with these pre-show announcements, I agree. But notice how many phones go off in the second act. All we can say is, “we told you” and all you can do is indulge yourself in looking about with uppity indignation. You’d think paying anywhere from $75 on up for a ticket would be enough to make someone automatically turn off their phone as soon as they hit the lobby, but no. These are the people currently talking to their neighbors instead of listening to me. And they will continue to talk throughout the show, so, buck up and get used to it. Pissed yet? If the general thoughtlessness of the people around you doesn’t do it and the pretentiousness of the production doesn’t do it, perhaps this will. See that portly, smelly guy next to you in the ball cap? He got in free because he has a blog and might, we hope, unleash a favorable, yet amateur opinion of our professional production upon the world. (Heavy sigh) We now proudly present our over-produced intimate Broadway Bound – fingers crossed - dramedy “Problems That Poor Black People Have That Rich White People Can Pretend to Relate to Without Having to Go Through The Hassle of Knowing Any Black People.” Enjoy?