So @adam807 and I started discussing standing ovations and entrance applause over on ye olde twitter. (As an aside, if you are not following his brand of bitter you are missing out.) I thought the topic demanded a bit more space.
The Standing O
First off, I noticed in London these are rare. In noticing that, I realized they are practically a daily occurrence at every show in New York. Where is the happy medium? There were times in London I thought they were earned but not given and on many occasions I have been annoyed that they were given in NY for shows not that deserving. I'd love to know why there is such a cultural divide. New York gives too much love. London gives too little. Do others feel that way?
That said one show I saw in London got a standing O--Ghost the Musical. Seriously. Read into it what you will. Ralph Effing Fiennes didn't get one for his Prospero. Dominic Effing West didn't get one for his Iago. But Ghost the Musical got one.
When did this become a thing? I mean I saw Private Lives last night and EVERYONE got entrance applause. No offense...no actually total offense...none of these people have earned entrance applause. @adam807 and I disagree here slightly. He believes in no entrance applause (with an exception for solo shows) because it breaks up the show and the performers have yet to do anything.
I think a legendary performer deserves some entrance applause as an acknowledgment to their status and life's work. I mean Elaine Strich, Bernadette Peters...aren't these the people we give entrance applause to. Not Kim Cattrall people. Yes, she's famous. Yes, she's a celebrity. Yes, she has done more stage work that you probably know about but is she a legendary Broadway performer. No. Just because someone is famous and you recognize them, I don't think
they deserve applause. When they deliver on a performance, at the end
of the show there is room to acknowledge that.
And what about the entrance applause at Follies. There are many performers there that I think deserve entrance applause in that show. @adam807 thinks in particular Bernadette's entrance applause breaks up the flow of that sequence. I wonder if the performers are re-entering the theater in their memories that the applause we give is actually the applause they hear in their minds. I might be reading too much into it but it didn't bother me so much--except that there was a lot of it.
What do you guys think?