So I just read this story about Hugh Jackman's performance of "A Steady Rain" at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York. During a tense moment in the play in which Jackman's character, a Chicago policeman, describes his haunting memories, someone's cell phone went off in the audience.
Jackman broke character and asked, "You want to get that?" The audience cheered. The ringing persisted. "Come on, just turn it off," Jackman pleaded. He then paced the stage for about a minute until the ringing stopped.
I got one better!
Umberto Eco and Salman Rushdie came to my school in spring of 2008 for an event hosted by Open Letter Press. They talked with the OLP director onstage. Then Rushdie read a selection of his upcoming novel The Enchantress of Florence, to be released in April 2008. Eco read from The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.
Someone's cell phone went off!
Eco ignored it and just kept reading. Oh well, the ringtone was classical music. So at least it was, you know, a cultured interruption.