Seven fifty-five p.m. A moment, in theater, of whispered anticipation, of studying Playbills, of turning off cellphones. And a perfect time, before a performance of “Stomp” at the Orpheum Theater in the East Village last night, for a commercial.
“Give me a picture of the London scene,” said an actress in the audience on her cellphone, supposedly talking to her daughter in London on the eve of her own trip there.
No, to answer your question, there is nothing sacred. The advertisement, which is itself advertised as the world’s first live theatrical commercial, is a creation of Visit London, a tourist organization. There have already been performances of the live commercial on stages in Dublin and Hamburg, said Ken Kelling, Visit London’s communications director, and there is to be another on Friday in Pittsburgh. “They’re a captive audience,” Mr. Kelling said. “They can’t switch channels or change over or walk out once the thing is started.” He said that he did not think this would open the door to live ads for detergents and soft drinks, and that Visit London had no plans to continue the ads after this Friday in Pittsburgh.