Codebreaker

Shut. That. Phone. OFF!

Marc Sanchez Jan 12, 2012

We’ve all sat through that announcement before a movie or a play or a concert – the one that asks you in a tough, yet fair way to please turn off your cell phone. Alec Baldwin’s voice reads the plea before performances at Lincoln Center, before New York Philharmonic performances. Unfortunately one poor schlub at Tuesday night’s performance didn’t heed or didn’t hear the warning (Not a fan of 30 Rock, perhaps?).

The performance was Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, and just as the music was quieting, to what music director, Alan Gilbert, describes as “spiritual,” the iPhone marimba ringtone began to fill the air. You know the one… Ding-dong-doopie-doopie-doopie-doop. There are marimbas in this symphony, and when the ringing didn’t stop, Gilbert did. He stopped the performance and tried to locate the offender.

From the New York Times: “Mr. Gilbert said audience members pointed out two people sitting where the sound was coming from. ‘They were staring at me resolutely,’ he said of the couple. Eventually, the man put his hand in his pocket and the ringing stopped. ‘It was so weird,’ Mr. Gilbert said. “Did he think he could just bite his lip and soldier through?'”

With premium seats to the Phil’s performances going for close to $120, the crowd quickly turned on the culprit. Again, from the Times: “People in the hall had been shouting for the sound to stop. Mr. Pelkonen reported that they yelled: ‘Thousand-dollar fine!’ ‘Kick him out!’ ‘Get out!’

Another blogger, who was present, Max Kinchen, wrote, “They wanted blood!”

What’s the lesson here? I guess that you’re responsible for your gadgets. Double-check, then check again. You don’t want an angry mob of Classical enthusiasts on your tail.

If there was video of the reprimanding, maybe Lincoln Center could turn it into another plea for no phones like the Alamo Draft House in Austin, TX.

Warning: NSFW language in the second clip.

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