I went to a show the other night and stood in the will-call line for my tickets. In front of me was a woman, who I remember nothing about, other than the fact she was wearing pajama bottoms — to the theater!

My heart sank. Have we really come to this? I felt like that when I first started seeing people wearing jeans to shows, but this? So casual, so sloppy, so lazy.

I looked at her as she babbled to her partner. With her saggy PJ bottoms she's telling the actors, and owners of the theater, "I think so little of your event and the time you've spent preparing, that it's not even worth putting on jeans — you're barely worth leaving the house."

Society has certainly gotten more casual, and that's not always a bad thing. Who wants to sit on an airplane wearing panty hose and a dress?

But really? You can't even slip on some jeans? I'm sorry, it's appalling.

Imagine my greater dismay when, after the show, I saw her waiting to talk to one of the actors. What? Your kid is in this show and that's the best you can do?

How embarrassing.

Theater is an event — even at casual theaters. Please show respect for the actors on stage, who can see you, by the way, by spending a few minutes on yourself before you leave the house. Put on a clean shirt, run your fingers through your hair. I'd love if jeans were saved for movies and you put on your khakis.

No flip-flops, no sweat pants, no sweat shirts, no pajama bottoms, no hoodies (all of which I see pretty regularly these days). That goes for your kids, too — teach them what's appropriate to wear to live theater.

I realize money may be tight, lives are busy and days are chaotic. But I think the least you can do is change your pants.


The Tony nominations are out, and there were some surprises. Mostly surprising was who was left out.

Usually the name Harvey Fierstein is synonymous with Tony Award. He has won Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards for his playwriting ("Torch Song Trilogy," "La Cage Aux Folles") and for his acting, in "Hairspray," most recently.

But his new musical, "A Catered Affair," was almost completely overlooked. Besides nods to Faith Prince and Tom Wopat for their acting, and a nomination for Best Orchestrations, the musical went unnoticed.

Which is interesting because it got 12 Drama Desk Nominations. How can the two awards be so far off? Many grumble that, like the Oscars, there is big campaigning going on by shows to get the votes of the 750-plus Tony voters.

Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" and Disney's "The Little Mermaid," were other oversights.

Some surmise that there is an attitude in the Big Apple that it's time they teach Mel Brooks a lesson — who is he to come in here and win more Tonys than anyone?

Or perhaps the theory is that those shows will sell well on their own and therefore don't need the added boost of a Tony Award.

Let the speculation begin!

"The View": Many of the Tony-nominated shows and performers will be appearing on "The View," hosted by Whoopi Goldberg (who will also host the Tonys) over the next month. Check your listings for musical numbers, actor guest hosts and such. Hopefully the women will let the actors get a word in.

"Mermaid" injury: The matinee of "The Little Mermaid" started an hour late last Saturday when, before the curtain rose, actor Adrian Bailey fell through a trap door, dropped 20 feet onto the stage and broke both his wrists. Bailey should be OK.

"Jersey" death: How sad is this — John Altieri, who was in the first national tour of "Jersey Boys," died at age 38 from complications due to pneumonia. He was set to be in the Las Vegas production but fell ill shortly after rehearsals began. He died the day after the production's opening night.

Guido Contini? We've talked about the upcoming movie musical version of "Nine," starring Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren and (probably) Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench. The lucky man to play Guido Contini? How about Daniel Day-Lewis? I'm not sure if he can sing ... But we know the two-time Academy Award winner sure can act. They're "in talks" right now ... stay tuned.


E-mail: ehansen@desnews.com