LuPone usually exits the scene just after shaking the hand of an audience member in the front row, but she tells The Hollywood Reporter that she improvised because that particular attendee was steadily texting throughout the first act.
Given her past willingness to confront distracting audience members, the house was plainly surprised when Lupone did nothing but “pause”.
“Without breaking character, Patti LuPone snatched a rude woman’s phone and walked offstage at Shows for Days tonight”, Arts and Entertainment writer Diane Snyder tweeted. Phone texting is forbidden in most theaters as the light from the phone distracts both the audience members and actors on stage.
Patti grabbed the phone out of the onlooker’s hands and took it backstage, trying to promote proper theatre etiquette – which multiple eyewitnesses documented on social media. They can not put them down, ‘ LuPone complained.
Having already heard cell phones go off four times during Wednesday’s performance of her latest play, Shows for Days, the six-time Tony victor couldn’t bear to see one particularly woman texting in the audience for a second longer!
Patti released a statement to Playbill.com on July 9, explaining her actions. She went on to despair, “I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore”.
Back in 2009, the Girls guest star also made headlines when she yelled at a photographer for disrupting her while playing Momma Rose in Gypsy.
Watch out theatre cell phone users!
This week’s adventure in cell-phone rudeness came mere days after reports of a mind-boggling incident at Hand to God, where an audience member took the stage to try and plug his phone into an on-set (fake) outlet. ‘Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshal the audience as well as perform.’.