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Theater audiences are accustomed to hearing brief announcements before the house lights dimabout, say, the use of camerasbut few are as detailed as the one Jerry Whiddon delivers with a gravelly growl at the start of Russell Lees’ satirical comedy, Nixon’s Nixon. Round House Theatre flack Mark Blackmon, who wrote the announcement, says the company rarely has problems with recording devices, but that the placement of the exit doors means that opening them after the show is in progress disrupts the performance. With an intermissionless show, this situation required a warning…and that’s where Whiddon started. It’s not where he stopped:
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Round House Theatre. Please be advised that we will be unable to re-admit patrons to the theater if they leave during the performance. We also suggest that this would be an excellent time to unwrap any cough drops, lozenges, or mints that you may require during the performance, as recent scientific studies have proven conclusively that attempting to slowwwwwly unwrap cellophane-covered candies during the show actually exponentially increases volume. We thank you for coming to Round House, and for turning off all electronic equipment that may beep, buzz, clank, clang, or ring during the performance. Enjoy the show.”
Every audience, so far, has erupted into applause as the lights have gone down.Bob Mondello