Sometimes, when you're on stage, you know where you stand with an audience. When they applaud loudly for what is applause-worthy, they laugh at what is funny, and they are respectfully quiet during sad or awkward scenes, you know that you have their emotions in the palm of your hand and that your performance is really reaching them.
However, when the opposite occurs, that is, when they are quiet when they should be loud and there is lots of rustling and/or coughing when they should be quiet, you can't help but feel like you're not doing a very good job, like, despite your best efforts, you just can't suspend their disbelief. It's quite discouraging.
Last night's audience was, as you may have guessed, somewhat like the latter group. They seemed unappreciative and distracted. Worse yet, they were occasionally distracting. For example, during a scene that is lit only by black light for an extended period of time, a woman wearing a large white coat (which was very, very noticable thanks to the black light) decided that that was the perfect time for her to get up from her fourth row center seat, and slowly make her way to the lobby, illumined for all to see.
During the show, nearly everyone in the cast made some comment about how the crowd was "dead" and "unresponsive."
However, when curtain call came, we received a standing ovation.
People are fascinating.
7 hours ago