In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 2, 2007 / 12 Adar 5767

It's all dinner theater now

By Greg Crosby

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Food can be fun when eaten in places other than a kitchen, dining room, or restaurant. The beach is a great place for a picnic lunch. A serene grassy knoll beside a babbling brook in the woods calls for wine and cheese. A baseball game screams out for hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack. What could be better than cotton candy at the circus, or popcorn at the movies? And cold New York City streets are the perfect place for hot chestnuts at Christmastime. But not all places on earth are necessarily open to eating, nor should they be.

Eating while attending a funeral is unacceptable. Eating during a job interview wouldn't impress a prospective employer very much. Eating on the telephone is not only rude, but makes you difficult to be heard. Eating while driving a car is dangerous. Eating in the bathroom is repulsive.

And eating during a live theater performance is impolite, offensive, oafish and extremely selfish. But it is being done all over the place, including Broadway.

As we see in so many other facets of contemporary society, people will not stop doing offensive things no matter how many people object or are hurt or bothered by it. A large minority (soon to become the majority, I am sorry to say) feel it is their "right" to do whatever the hell they want to do anytime they want to do it, no matter what. Including eating anywhere they see fit - even in expensive orchestra seats at a Broadway performance of a big show.

In an Associated Press report, Patti LuPone recalled the following incident which occurred during her Broadway run in "Sweeney Todd. "There was this woman in the first row eating out of a paper bag so loudly that even people around her were trying to get her to stop." Another actor on stage used her prop — a flute — to nudge the woman to stop eating, reaching into the audience with the instrument and pushing down on the woman's bag of snacks, LuPone said. "But the woman kept eating whatever it was — things that came out in little balls. People are slobs. Everybody leaves their junk for somebody else to pick up," she said.

It's not only the boorish patrons which are to blame for all the eating, the theaters are allowing it. Did I say "allowing?" They sell the stuff in the lobbies. Sure, they've been selling it for years, but at least they used to discourage people from taking it back to their seats, not anymore. Yes, once again, it's all about the bottom line. Concession sales at the Hilton Theatre have more than doubled since refreshments were allowed into the shows about three years ago. However, not all theaters are doing it not yet anyway.

According to the article, The Shubert Organization, which operates 17 theaters, does not permit food or drinks into performances. The Nederlander Organization allows snacks into most of its shows, especially performance spaces that are staging family shows such as "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast." Nederlander also allows people to bring in wine poured into spill-proof cups. Last year, the Nederlander added popcorn to its snack menu at the Neil Simon Theatre for the musical "Hairspray." POPCORN.

So let's see, selling popcorn and other snack crap in the theater is okay because they are presenting so-called "family shows." Excuse me, what happened to parents teaching their kids proper theater etiquette? "No, you can't eat during a live theater performance, sweetheart - it would disturb other people who are trying to hear the show and it would be distracting to the actors. But afterwards we can go out for lunch." What's wrong with saying that? And if the kid can't deal with that, then take him or her to Chuck E. Cheese and let the rest of us enjoy the show in peace.

Jim Boese, vice president of the Nederlander organization, defends the practice of selling and allowing snacks into the performance. "It's just recognition of reality," he says. "We're trying to be responsive to consumers." So I guess if slobs wanted to purchase raw eggs and rotten tomatoes to throw at the actors on stage, Boese would just be "responsive to consumers" in selling those things at inflated prices so that the slobs could do it. Yes, let's just be "responsive." Responsive to the slobs. How about this? How about being responsible to those of us in the audience who want to listen to the show and who have paid top dollar to do so? How about being respectful to the performers on stage?

It works like this. More slobs have disposable money to spend. More slobs go to the theater. More slobs are used to eating in front of their television sets and want to eat during the performances of shows. Theater owners want to make more money, so they cater to the slobs and sell the crap that the slobs want to stuff in their faces. Everybody is happy. Everybody, that is, except the few of us who go to the theater and actually want to hear the actors on stage - not the slobs in the audience.

Here's a little message for all you slobs who may be reading this (and you know who you are): If you can't stop eating for the two hours or so that it takes to watch a show, then stay home or go to a restaurant. Or go to the beach, or a baseball game. Or better yet, go to the circus with all the rest of the clowns and pig out to your heart's content. But please stay out of the theater.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2006, Greg Crosby