Patti LuPone confiscated an audience member’s mobile phone during a recent performance in New York.
There’s one thing you absolutely do not do when you go to the theatre and that’s keep your phone on. It doesn’t matter if it’s a children’s nativity or a Broadway production, it’s just not OK. So we completely understand where Patti LuPone was coming from when she confiscated a fan’s phone during a recent performance in New York.
Patti LuPone at the opening night of Shows of Days.
LuPone was performing in Douglas Carter Beane’s new play, Shows for Days, at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater on Wednesday (8th July). She was at the end of a scene, where she has to shake an audience member’s hand, when she noticed a woman on the front row was using her phone. LuPone, taking no nonsense, instead confiscated the phone.
The play’s manager confirmed the news to the L.A. Times, stating:
"Last night, Patti noticed that the woman sitting in that seat was on her phone. As she exited, instead of shaking her hand, as she normally would, Patti took the phone out of the woman's hands.”
66-year-old LuPone, an iconic stage actress and singer, is well known for her zero-tolerance policy when it comes to audience members using phones in the theatre. She has even been known to halt performances to stop culprits before they disrupt the show any further for the actors and those around them. According to reports, LuPone stopped a production of Gypsy she was performing in 2009 to scream at an audience member who was taking photographs.
LuPone addressed the most recent incident in New York on a theatre blog, Theater Mania. She explained, in no uncertain terms, exactly why using a phone in the theatre is so unacceptable:
"We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones. They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore. Now I'm putting battle gear on over my costume to marshal the audience as well as perform."
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