The Long Island teen who tried to plug his cellphone into a fake outlet at Broadway's "Hand to God" read an apology at a hastily called news conference outside the theater Friday.
Nick Silvestri, 19, of Seaford seemed surprised at the outcry caused by arguably the most bizarre thing done in a Broadway theater since the dawn of social media. "The past few days have been really crazy," Silvestri, a student and lacrosse player at Nassau Community College, read from a prepared statement. "What was I thinking? I guess I wasn't really thinking. I don't go to plays very much, and I didn't realize that the stage is considered off limits."
Shortly before the July 2 performance, he walked onto the stage to try to charge his phone. He said he had "downed a few drinks" before coming to the play and "I think that clearly impaired my judgment. Before the show started, I noticed that my phone's battery was low and the only power outlet I saw was on stage."
The incident comes at a time when artists and audiences are increasingly incensed by the ringing, texting and videotaping that distract from performances. "If I want to give one message to folks out there, it's that you should give your complete attention to the actors on stage . . . I feel terrible if any of the amazing actors in this show felt at all disrespected by my actions."
In response to whether this was a publicity stunt, he said, "It wasn't a stunt. I was just being me. My phone was dead. There were two calls I had to make . . . I don't think it should be that big a deal . . . Hey, it's funny, right?"
When a reporter asked whether the news conference was the producers' attempt to sell tickets to their show, Silvestri was whisked away.