I cannot tell you how disappointed I am to find that the Murat Theatre, which is one of the most beautiful, historical theatres, has now turned into a smoke filled, drunken rowdy saloon. I attended the Willie Nelson performance last night, expecting that because he was performing at the Murat theatre, it would be a pleasant opportunity to see a great performer. I saw that there were parents with small children also expecting to find a safe envirornment to bring their children. It was not.
The Murat Theatre has always been one of Indianapolis' nicer theatres. I have attended many Broadway shows, seen great performers and comedians at that venue. Food and drink were allowed in the lobby and once the performance started, people were not allowed into the theatre until intermission. All of those classic rules have been set aside.
They have now allowed it to turn into a high class saloon. People walked in and out of the theatre during the performance. They allowed people to bring food and drink into the theatre and slosh it around as they pushed past people in the aisles. I was absolutely stunned.
The performance was to start at 8pm. Right at 8 the advance performer came on. Noone introduced him, he just came on stage andf began singing. I had no idea who he was and I had never heard any of his songs. He finally told the audience his name was Drake something, but I had neither heard of him or any of his songs.
Once the music started, people started trailing in, bringing in huge cans of beer and pretzels and all sorts of stuff. They were walking around and talking out loud. The seats are marked on the left and people always get seating confused in that theatre, so many people were sitting one seat off and several times I thought men were going to come to blows arguing about who was in whose seat, while they balanced their beer and pretzels.
Then after thirty minutes or so of the opening act quit singing, and asked if we were ready to see Willie, he then walked off the stage. About five minutes later the house lights came up and people again got up and tromped over each other to get more beer. We waited forty-five minutes with people wandering around, arguing, drinking, and obviously smoking in the restroom, before Mr. Nelson appeared.
He is a great performer and a fabulous guitarist, and I love his music, but the crowd kept milling around in and out of the theatre, up and down the aisles, standing up and dancing regardless of who was behind them, getting more beer and more drunk, and more rude. It became more and more uncomfortable. Smoke filled the theatre and the conditions were deplorble. We stayed about 30-40 minutes into Willie's performance, and finally had enough of the crowd and the smell and left.
Perhaps allowing this to go on, is bringing the theatre great profits, but it is destroying one of the greatest theatres and traditions in Indianapolis. This was one of the most disappointing experiences of my life.