Cell Phone Announcements in The Theater

Every New York theater now tells its audience members to turn off their cell phones and “if you want to enjoy candies during the performance, now would be a good time to unwrap them.”

Many shows are creative with these turn-off-your-cell-phone pre-show announcements.

At “Perfect Crime,” a murder mystery and the longest-running play in New York, after the announcement to turn off your cell phone and other mobile devices, the voice adds: “Bear in mind some of the actors do carry guns.”

At “The Toxic Avenger,” one of the characters says:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the story we are about to tell you is so disturbing, we have stationed a registered nurse outside in the lobby…And please for the love of God, do NOT turn off your cell phones.”

Shows in the past:

Grey Gardens:

“Welcome to Grey Gardens. Please turn off your cell phones. This is a musical. We already have songs.”

Cry Baby:

“Take your seats! Cell phones off Unwrap your lozenges! Drive home safe! Get some sleep! Watch your cholesterol!”

The Boy from Oz:

“Remember, the Imperial Theatre is equipped with automatic ejection seats and will go off if a cell phone is heard in the theater.”


There were no cell phones in the 1960’s


“Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Shubert Theatre. During this performance, please feel free to let your cellphones and pagers ring willy-nilly. However, do remember that there are heavily armed knights onstage and you might well be dragged up and impaled.”

Other examples?

Jonathan Mandell, who tweets as New York Theater, is a native New Yorker and third-generation journalist with diverse experience on newspapers, magazines and websites.He has written for a wide varie ...read more


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