Actors say rude audiences are destroying Broadway

Badly behaved audiences are all too common on Broadway. Phones ring, screens glow as people text, wrappers crinkle. And now that theatergoers can drink alcohol during many shows, they fidget, rattle the ice in their cups, nod off and snore, or laugh in all the wrong places.

Many actors object to the drinking, but they have no power over theater owners, who enjoy the fat profits that come from $20 glasses of wine.

“I didn’t get a good look at them,” Birney said of his tormentors, “but they were probably millennials who were drinking. At the Hudson you can take a bucket of Champagne to your seat. We [would] hear the glasses rolling down the aisles. Sometimes I think we’re one step away from dinner theater.”