Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner are doing their award winning production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" at the Ahmanson Theater here in Los Angeles.
I finally got to see my friend Bill do that part last night. I can't quite get over the idea that the man who created "Fool Moon" and "In Regard of Flight" can also turn in a performance of Albee's work like he did. I thought he was stunning. The production was fine and everyone was good but the more I watched Bill play George, the more complicated his performance became. It was like a video game where each level solved opened to another more challenging puzzle. He was truly amazing.
I was, however, sitting in the "cell phone" section of the theater. Although they make the announcement to turn off cell phones once before the show, and at both intermissions, three people around me had their phones ring, loudly during the performance. None of the three acts was free of cell phone rings. It is not just the ring that is distracting, but the scramble to find the purse, to get the phone to shut it off becomes a professional wrestling maneuver.
And of course cell phones don't just ring anymore, full orchestrations announce incoming calls. Suddenly a flea circus marching band concert can interrupt any silence. Lilly Tomlin once said, "I'm afraid the person who thought up Muzak, is thinking up something else." Unfortunately, he was thinking up ring tones. Great idea! Why just disturb people with a bell ringing when you can irritate them with a hackneyed song.
Bill and Kathleen were asked in a talk back, "what are the differences in New York, London and Los Angeles audiences". Bill said, cell phones ringing during the performance was more a problem in LA than any where else. One lady stood up and said, "Perhaps it is because we have more doctors here than anywhere else." If this is the mental capacity of the average audience member in Los Angeles, no wonder they can't remember to turn off their cell phones.
As you were,