I have probably attended well over 100 professional performances in my relatively short life. About 15 years ago, I noticed that people would give standing ovations for anything. Even if it wasn't great. Heck, audiences would give standing ovations for stuff that wasn't even good.
In the case of Broadway or The Metropolitan Opera, I think people feel like they've blown so much money on one show, they are going to treat it like the show of their life! I'm a little more jaded than that. Okay, maybe a lot more jaded. I am a firm believer that standing ovations should be reserved for those performances that completely blow you out of the water. (Or for the shows that your kids are in, obviously.)
Last year, I only attended one show that did that for me. "The Light in the Piazza" was amazing and wonderful and makes me smile still to think about it. However, my opinion was not shared by everyone in the entire theater. Typically, a standing ovation is like a wave. Everyone collectively realizes that they have witnessed something incredible.
Last night we took our kids and a couple extra friends to go see The Lion King.
It. Was. Breathtaking.
Everyone loved it. My four year old was SILENT and wide-eyed the entire time (until he fell asleep for the last 15 minutes because it was three hours past his bedtime by then.) My eight year old and his friend sat literally on the edges of their seats for the entire performance. The sixteen year old we brought was totally captivated by the entire thing. And Todd and I found it all delightful.
It was the first time in ages that I found myself completely swept up with the tide and stood up and clapped my heart out without any grumbling.
If you haven't. Go see it.