What strikes me about all the snippets of chat I overhear in the lobby of the Beaumont during a show's run - see latest edition below - is how sincere most of them are. The speakers don't seem to think there's the slightest thing odd or amusing about what they are saying - which, of course, is what makes them odd and amusing. 

Younger Man: It's a short evening so we'll make it to dinner by 9:30. 

Older Man: Why do you think it's short? 

Younger Man: Because there's no intermission. 

Older: Wrong. It's called Act One, not "One Act." 

* * * 

Woman in Plaid: (humming a tune) 

Woman in Pant Suit: What's that song? 

Woman in Plaid: "My Funny Valentine." 

Woman in Pant Suit: Oh, right: Rodgers and Hart. 

Woman in Plaid: I thought it was appropriate to the play today. 

Woman in Pant Suit: But the play today is Kaufman and Hart. 

Woman in Plaid: But it's the same Hart, isn't it? 

Woman in Pant Suit: No. 

Woman in Plaid: Oh. I always thought he wrote his plays with Kaufman, and his musicals with Rodgers. 

* * * 

Tall Man at Intermission: The show's got a great set, hasn't it? 

Taller Man: Absolutely. I was reading the Playbill, and it was designed by Beowulf Boritt. 

Tall Man: His father must have been an English professor. 

Taller Man: Or a Tolkien fan. 

* * * 

Older Woman: You know, your grandfather grew up in the Bronx, in the same neighborhood as Moss Hart. 

Teenage Boy: I've never even been to the Bronx. 

Older Woman: You've been to Yankee Stadium. 

Teenage Boy: Grandma, seeing a Yankees game from a luxury box isn't going to the Bronx. It's going to Manhattan North. 

* * * 

Woman in Red: Wasn't Moss Hart married to Kitty Carlisle Hart? 

Woman in White: Yes. 

Woman in Red: So why isn't she in the play? 

Woman in White: It takes place before she and Hart met. She'd be in the sequel. 

Woman in Red: Which would be called "Act Two," I suppose. 

Woman in White: No. "Life with Kitty." 

* * *

First Man: I'm so lucky. I saw Tony Shalhoub in "Lend Me A Tenor." 

Second Man: I'm lucky, too. I saw Santino Fontana in "Cinderella." 

Third Man: I saw Andrea Martin hanging upside down from a trapeze. 

First Man: You win. 

* * * 

Stout Man: Did you know that Moss Hart directed "My Fair Lady"? And apparently had quite a time with Julie Andrews. 

Thin Woman: I saw Audra McDonald in that part. 

Stout Man: You did not. Audra has never done that part. 

Thin Woman: Yes, she did. In California. 

Stout Man: I don't believe you. But what I do believe is that if she ever sang Eliza Doolittle on Broadway she would win a Tony. 

[Editor's note: Audra McDonald has never done "My Fair Lady" professionally. She does, however, regularly include the musical's "I Could Have Danced All Night" in her concert performances.] 

* * * 

Young Man: During the first act, I kept imagining what this play would be like as a musical. 

Young Woman: Me, too. They'd have to shorten the book to make room for songs, but they could keep the set and costumes. 

Young Man: I think they'd have to adjust the set. 

Young Woman: Why? 

Young Man: Have you ever tried to sing while running up and down stairs? 

Brendan Lemon is the American theater critic for the Financial Times and the editor of lemonwade.com