Friday, February 22, 2013

A Fly On the Wall, February 22, 2013

The Chat Bar
by Jim Murchison 

This week has been quite a week for The Charlebois Post. The type of lively discussion that I relish, provoked by Gaëtan Charlebois's op-ed column about being shunned by Mirvish Productions is exactly the type of debate that you want. Perhaps this is not the preferred springboard, but it does show how much readers care and are engaged. 

But sometimes engagement is not a welcome thing. A person in the theatre, a heckler or someone that talks loudly to their theatre partner, “Why did that happen? What’s going on now?” can be irritating to the other patrons.

The obvious evolution of theatre is already extending to virtual performance and podcast. While I hope this never replaces theatre that includes a living breathing audience, it is a welcome addition to artistic expression but will inevitably bring us the theatre chat bar. When I was young there was no such thing as a chat bar unless you count a local emporium where one would drink and try out new one-liners and pickup lines.

For those that have not had a live streaming experience here is a typical sample:

SmartGurl:  Who is that actor? Is that Johnny Depp?
JDeppFan: It’s not Johnny Depp.
SmartGurl: It looks like Johnny Depp.
JDeppFan: No! Johnny Depp is in Wyoming shooting a film. That isn’t  Johnny Depp.
SmartGurl: Well whoever it is I’d do him in a heartbeat.
HappyBoy: I’d do him in a heartbeat girlfriend.
Smartgurl: OMG! What happened there? Why did she slap him?
MarloweMan: He called her a whore.
SmartGurl: I thought she was a whore.
HappyBoy: She is a whore, but no one likes to be called one.
MarloweMan: Tis a pity she’s a whore.
SmartGurl: WTF?
MarloweMan: It’s a reference to John Ford.
HappyBoy: The guy that did the westerns or the Canadian guy in Blackboard Jungle?
MarloweMan: Neither. A 17th century playwright.
SmartGurl: Oooooo clever boy. You think you’re pretty smart don’t ya? 
MarloweMan: STFU SG!!
SmartGurl: what evvvverrrrrrr! That actress has really gotten fat.
MarloweMan: btw the play is over.
SmartGurl: it was pretty good, don’t you think?
JDeppFan: ?????
HappyBoy: ?????
MarloweMan: God help me.

I welcome the new outlet that live streaming will bring on, but I will likely use that most welcome option of disabling the Chat Bar. 

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