Friend of the podcast Kelvin Moon Loh (CSC's Pacific Overtures, Broadway's The King and I, Sideshow) shares a story about his experience performing for two particularly wise and engaged audience members.
"There was a young lady and her mom at the theater today and they were laughing during the show."
"They were shushed by another audience member who didn't appreciate their 'giggling'."
"Must I remind everyone-"
"Sitting in the dark with other people and collectively giving your attention to the performers is all a part of it and this MOM and DAUGHTER were WONDERFUL AUDIENCE MEMBERS."
"In fact, I heard the entire exchange. And the other audience member was certainly in the wrong."
"It was these two very INTELLIGENT WOMEN who picked up on a very very funny and subtle word play that STEPHEN SONDHEIM wrote. They laughed where many have laughed before them. Perhaps, this other patron was so jealous they didn't get the joke; therefore, causing their inappropriately aggressive admonishment of these ladies."
"I couldn't help but notice the dejection on these ladies faces from that point forward in the show."
"After the show, I dressed faster than ever to try and find these women. Success! She had tears in her eyes- I fear that they were tears of embarrassment. I'm sure she was confused. I called her over and she immediately apologized, 'I'm sorry if my laugh was disturbing anyone.' I assured her it was the exact opposite. We smiled, chatted, and laughed and talked about the AWESOMENESS of her GENUINE LAUGHTER and ATTENTION."
"The mom called me a 'mensch'."
"MORAL OF THE STORY:"
"If you are having a good time in life, there sometimes are those lurking in shadows to try to knock you down. They want to dim your light to match their darkness."
"DO NOT LET THEM."
"Shine BRIGHTER. Laugh LOUDER. Smile WIDER."
"And if you see this happening to someone else- Share Your Light GENEROUSLY!"
"It does not cost much to keep extra candles for your neighbors."