“Rent” Audience Given Five Day Grace Period to Clap for Closing Number
by Cory Cousins.
TOLEDO, Oh. - Audience members attending the touring production of the hit Broadway musical Rent this weekend were given a merciful five day grace period to clap following the closing number of the show, after some in the crowd requested more time due to various tepid excuses.
“I’m usually very punctual when it comes to clapping on time,” asserted musical theatre patron Tracy McDaniels, nervously bouncing her knee and looking at her watch. “I programmed an alert on my phone that lets me know when a movie, speech, or theatrical performance is over so that I can clap my heart out, but my phone died after I unwittingly butt-dialed my daughter and left a two-hour long voicemail of the entire musical.”
Some members of the cast were not as forgiving about the lack of applause from the sold-out audience.
“I’m sorry honey, but this isn’t some high school production of Brigadoon,” remarked Beckett Darlington, who plays Angel Dumott Schunard and has been described as a "model theater seat tenant". “We don’t want to hear that you owe over five thousand dollars in child support payments, and simply don’t have the means to clap. We are professionally trained stage actors and we demand the timeliness needed to keep things moving smoothly!"
Sebastian Phillips, General Manager of the local playhouse hosting the production, further explained the details regarding the hand-clapping exception.
“We here at Lightz Out Theater Co. value our patrons and would not want any of them to feel pressured into clapping loudly the instant the final note is sung,” emphasized Phillips, polishing his monocle. “We are not monsters! That being said, if you abuse the five day grace period by not giving a healthy clap, we will be forced to send stage hands to your home where they will force you to clap until you have lost all feeling in your palms. Enjoy the show, but don’t fuck with us.”
Following the performance, a number of patrons present for the production requested that instead of applauding, perhaps they could let out an enthusiastic whistle or a passionate “Hurrah!” as compensation. Theater administrators immediately responded, noting that any response other than vigorous clapping, as clearly stated on the tickets, would be met with prompt “boos”,“guffaws," and may possibly affect the audience member's credit score.