2 Crazy Incidents Illustrate Broadway Menace: Phones

Including the guy who jumped on stage to charge his
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2015 12:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – Cell phones in theaters: After two high-profile incidents on Broadway, things seem to have reached a "tipping point," observes Variety. The first occurred when 19-year-old Nick Silvestri hopped up on the stage just before the start of Hand to God and plugged his phone into an outlet, not realizing it was a prop. He tells Playbill that it wasn't a joke and that he wasn't acting on a dare. He just needed to charge his iPhone. "I saw the outlet and ran for it," he recalls. "That was the only outlet I saw, so I thought, 'Why not?' I was thinking that they were probably going to plug something in there on the set, and I figured it wouldn't be a big deal if my phone was up there too." Security guards quickly moved in. After talking to Playbill, Silvestri even participated in a press conference and read a statement in which he apologized.

"I don't go to plays very much, and I didn't realize that the stage is considered off limits," he said, per Gothamist. (Variety notes that Hand to God, which has been struggling to sell tickets, was happy to capitalize by organizing that press conference.) The second incident occurred when Patti LuPone took the phone from an audience member who was texting during Show for Days. Given that she remained in character the whole time, the New York Post grants her a "standing ovation." Vanity Fair rounds up previous incidents, saying they "offer proof that, even if our movie theaters are slowly succumbing to the inevitability of omnipresent cell phones, the theater community may well choose to die on this hill." Plus, Broadway actors have a big advantage over movie actors: "the ability to fight back." (Read more cell phones stories.)

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