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Listen to His Declaration

'Hamilton' star criticizes SLC audience's cell-phone behavior.


Joseph Morales as Alexander Hamilton - JOAN MARCUS
  • Joan Marcus
  • Joseph Morales as Alexander Hamilton
The era of the cell phone  and its perpetual distraction isn't always kind to live performances.  At least one member of the touring cast of Hamilton isn't happy about it—and he let Salt Lake City audiences know.

On Sunday afternoon, actor Joseph Morales—who currently stars as Alexander Hamilton in the SLC touring company of Hamiltonexpressed his frustration with seeing audience members using their phones during performances of the show.


Leaving aside the possibility that even using your phone in the middle of a movie could be distracting to other viewers, responses to Morales were generally supportive and apologetic for phone-addicted Utah theater patrons. People praised the actor's performance, and the show as a whole, while feeling embarrassed on behalf of those who were so rude.

There were, however, comments with a bit more stank on them. A few suggested that a possible reason for the mid-show phone use was Utah Jazz fans keeping tabs on the score of recent playoff games. And more to the point, they seemed to believe that there was nothing wrong with prioritizing mid-game updates over attention to the performers.


And then there was the occasional response by someone even more determined to be an ass.


Morales was not available for comment or clarification at press time—the Hamilton cast has a day off on Monday—so it's not clear if the behavior he was observing was of the "people taking non-stop video" variety, or (theoretically) surreptitious checking of Twitter or  But whichever the case might be, here's a thought: You're in the audience, presumably having spent hundreds of dollars for a unique experience, with performers giving their all for you. Put the damn toys away and show a little respect.

Updated 3:05 p.m.: The Utah Jazz official Twitter feed responded to the controversy with class, a sense of priorities and a sense of humor.