A couple of years ago, I attended a production of RENT that was touring through my area. I was sitting towards the front of the mezzanine area and behind me were a group of younger men and women who were very excited to see the show.
As the show began, and pretty much throughout the entire performance, they all proceeded to sing or speak dialogue from the show. Seldom is a minute go by where I didn't hear their rendition of various moments in the script.
When the show ended and we got out to leave the theatre, I took a dollar out of my pocket and offered to the girl behind me.
"What's this for?" she asked.
"I wanted to make sure I paid you for the performance," I said with the most amount of snark I could muster.
I thought about this moment when reading being told of people's experiences seeing Be More Chill which just opened Off-Broadway. While everyone is raving out it, the common complaint I'm hearing are that passionate fans are singing along with the show which disrupts the experience for the people around them.
While I am never one to try to quell fandom, I do take a hard line with this. If a fellow audience member is doing anything that distracts me from watching a performance, I lose it. It doesn't matter if it's cellphone use, unwrapping tiny candies, talking and of course, singing along with the show.
I didn't pay to hear that person sing the score. I don't care if they know the entire score. I don't care if this is the only Broadway show they will ever see. Unless prompted by the show itself, don't sing.
This has been becoming an issue at shows like Hamilton and believe me, those people are paying way too much to hear you try to rap.
So enjoy the show, love the show, but be respectful to those around you by taking it in and don't sing-a-long.