We have been to seven Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto events over the last few days, and every performance received a standing ovation. It could have been possible that every one of these performances was extraordinary and deserving of a standing ovation, but to tell the truth this was not true. They were all very good performances but not of such high acclaim that a standing ovation was deserved.
A standing ovation should be reserved for an extraordinary performance of particularly high acclaim. Something that you are likely to see only rarely. Unfortunately, in America standing ovations have become the norm — so much so that they have lost their value.
Even worse, there is the tyranny of the standing ovation. Do you stay seated when three quarters of the audience gets to their feet? If you do, you (as “theater snob”) not only risk the ire of crowd but are denied seeing the performers’ final bows.
Let’s try to bring a standing ovation back to a standard that artists can recognize as a very special appreciation of their performance.
Little Oak Island Drive