A mum was shushed and glared at after her autistic child yelped during a performance of the The King and I on Broadway, has been praised by one of the show’s stars. Cast member Kelvin Moon Loh took to Facebook with support for the unknown mother, calling her “brave” and asking theatregoers to have “compassion for others”.
He said that during a quiet and intense scene of the show’s second act, the child made loud noises and several audience members yelled at the mother and made shush noises toward the family at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in New York.
Describing what happened, he wrote: “It so happened that during ‘the whipping scene’, a rather intense moment in the second act, a child was heard yelping in the audience. It sounded like terror.”
But it was the audience’s reaction to the child that upset the star. “The audience started to rally against the mother and her child to be removed,” he wrote. “I heard murmurs of ‘why would you bring a child like that to the theater?’. This is wrong. Plainly wrong.”
He said that he saw the mother trying to calm her child but to no avail. “What they didn’t see was a mother desperately pleading with her child as he gripped the railing refusing – yelping more out of defiance. I could not look away. I wanted to scream and stop the show and say- ‘EVERYONE RELAX. SHE IS TRYING. CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT SHE IS TRYING???!!!!'”
Kelvin then praised the mum for bringing her son to the theatre. “For her to bring her child to the theater is brave. You don’t know what her life is like. Perhaps, they have great days where he can sit still and not make much noise because this is a rare occurrence. Perhaps she chooses to no longer live in fear, and refuses to compromise the experience of her child. Maybe she scouted the aisle seat for a very popular show in case such an episode would occur. She paid the same price to see the show as you did for her family. Her plan, as was yours, was to have an enjoyable afternoon at the theater and slowly her worst fears came true.”
The Broadway star then insisted that his show is family friendly and totally inclusive. “The King and I on Broadway is just that – FAMILY FRIENDLY- and that means entire families – with disabilities or not. Not only for special performances but for all performances. A night at the theater is special on any night you get to go. And no, I don’t care how much you spent on the tickets.”
The actor’s post has now been liked over 94,000 times on Facebook. “Beautifully put Kelvin!” one user commented.” Feeling all the feels. Just beautiful,” another added.