Let me close with a harrumph: During this four-month stint in the critic’s chair, I’ve been surprised by how often plays begin 10 to 15 minutes late. Really, what’s the deal, people? You are doing the on-time audience members a disservice by making them wait till the latecomers finally stroll down the aisle.
Tardy starts have become such a routine part of the Boston theatergoing experience that when I went to Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven earlier this month to see Athol Fugard’s “Have You Seen Us?,’’ I was startled when it actually . . . started on time. What a concept!
And Leonard Jacobs at The Clyde Fitch Report registers a very similar complaint:
No, I didn’t expect Love’s Labour’s to begin precisely at 8pm, given the fact that New York theater has been suffering more and more from a chronic case of CST — let’s actually dub it TST, or Theater Standard Time, given how widespread 8:12pm or even 8:15pm curtains are on Broadway of late. However, I did expect the performance to be underway no later than 8:10pm or so, given that the running time of this particular production is slightly less than three hours.
‘Twasn’t to be. First 8:05pm passed. Then 8:10pm. An announcement was made that, due to a sold-out house, the curtain would be held until 8:15pm. I don’t know what clock the house management at the Schimmel Center was going by, but my perfectly accurate Kenneth Cole watch zipped past 8:20pm and was heading right for 8:25pm when the play finally began.