PORTLAND—A controversial new “free speech” theater opened in the thriving Portland arts district last night, triggering protests by firefighters and people with blue hair.
The theater, owned and operated by a single mother-of-three and suspected domestic terrorist, will allow patrons to shout out whatever they like during a performance, as long as they buy a large popcorn.
“People should be able to say whatever they like, even if that means putting other people’s lives at risk,” said an audience member who attended the theater’s opening-night performance of “QAnon: The Musical.”
A New York Times reporter, who refused to buy popcorn (“who buys popcorn at a musical?”) and gave the show “minus two stars,” said it was a cynical, attention-seeking stunt that benefited no-one. “People don’t want to go to Portland to see a play and be confronted by loud, obnoxious people in track pants saying and doing whatever they want,” she said. “We already have Broadway for that.”
A spokesman for the theater said only two people had yelled “fire!” during the premiere, and ushers had moved quickly to open the emergency exits when everyone fled in panic. “There were one or two people trampled, but we gave them a replacement popcorn and explained what songs they’d missed,” he said.
Scott Baio, who plays the lead in “QAnon: The Musical,” said he enjoyed the interactive atmosphere where people could freely speak, and shout, their minds. “There’s nothing better than being told your singing sucks right in the middle of a performance,” he said. “I hope I’m asked back for the second show.”
Portland fire chief Randy McGovern, who helped organize last night’s protest, said his department didn’t need people causing chaos and mass panic just so they could “assert their Constitutional rights.” “This is a really peaceful part of the country,” he said in front of Scott Baio’s burning limousine, “And we want to keep it that way. Also, there’s a vibrant homeless community camped in the alleyways outside those emergency exits. Every time the doors open and people flee in panic, someone’s needle misses a vein.”