Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Standing Ovations

I generally think people give too many standing ovations.  My general rule for a standing ovation is this:  if you have to think about it, the show doesn't deserve it.  You should only stand up when you're actually brought to your feet subconsciously, on a tidal wide of enthusiasm.

That's what I aim for, anyway.  And when I'm seeing a show as a critic, I try extra hard to keep to it.  I mean, you don't want someone seeing you giving a show a standing ovation, and then they go home and read your review and you panned the show.  Giving a standing ovation tips your hand -- if you're a critic and you give one, you damn well better be prepared to go home and write the rave you've just promised.

So, here's me tonight at the Los Angeles premiere of Mary Poppins.  I enjoyed the show, but (unfortunately for my opinion of the show) I'd seen it before in London, where it had been better.  So I was a bit disappointed, and there was no way the fine folks at Disney were going to get me out of my seat during the curtain call.

Oh, they tried.  After the curtain call, the cast started singing again -- reprising some of the best numbers from the show.  (This often makes me stand, in what is known as the "I Can't See" ovation.)  But I stood-- er, sat strong and refused to move my butt, even though it meant missing most of the dancing.

And the number was over, and there was more applause.  And then the applause changed -- and if you've had any sort of experience with crowds, you can read it, and this applause was excited, surprised applause.  I craned my neck around the impossibly tall guy standing in front of me, and saw that they'd brought Dick Van Dyke on stage to say a few words.

And I immediately found myself standing.


1 comment:

Lori said...

Well that's okay because one SHOULD stand for Dick Van Dyke! Very cool!