It was supposed to be a routine performance of Deathtrap, a popular 1978 play by Ira Levin that holds the record for the longest-running comedy thriller on Broadway. The production, mounted by the Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, has garnered favorable reviews and a strongly positive response from the community. But one patron was so upset that she grabbed her teenage son, left at intermission, and demanded a refund for the rest of the season.
Why was she so furious? Because the show contained a brief (3-4 seconds) same-sex kiss.
In an outraged, pearl-clutching letter to managing director Chris Lino, she wrote:
I am normally calm, mild-mannered, and don't get upset, but last night, at the close of the first act of Deathtrap, I was infuriated with the explicit, homosexual display on stage because I had brought my teenage son to see the seemingly innocuous play... I realize that, unfortunately, you feel you must appeal to an insignificant minority of patrons by offering "edgy" material. I regret that you feel that way...
It took all of my self-control as I fumed in my seat for the long minute before intermission. Why was brazen homosexual content not included in the advisory?
...When I inquired [at the ticket booth] as to why that content was left out of the advisory I was told that it would "ruin the plot." Ruin the plot?! You ruined my evening, ruined my trust in you, and you ruined the trust my son has in me to find worthwhile entertainment for him. I feel sick about tonight.
I am appalled that you could not have simply stated: homosexual content. I have NEVER been so disgusted and infuriated! I was livid. I know your ticket sales clerk and manager are not responsible, and they handled the situation well. I had read and reread the content advisory to make sure it would be suitable to have my teenage son attend. I anticipated that he would appreciate the suspense, intrigue, plot twists, and mystery. The decision on the theatre's part not to divulge repulsive content was irresponsible and negligent! You have that responsibility to your patrons.
Please refund my money for this last evening's performance... My real desire is that you could erase the images in my son's mind and in mine.
Lino's response, which the Pioneer Theatre Company posted to its Facebook page, is pitch perfect. It's after the jump.