Broadway diva Patti LuPone is the last person you want to annoy while she’s on stage.
An audience member learned that the hard way this week during a performance of the play Shows For Days which is about the joy of working in live theater.
An audience member who was texting had her phone snatched from her hand by the two-time Tony Award winning who did not break character during the incident.
Following the show, LuPone issued a statement lamenting the rise of phone use during performances. Last week, during a performance of Hand to God at the Booth Theatre, an audience member tried to plug his phone into a fake power point on the set.
‘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,’ LuPone complained.
‘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.’
In addition to her Tony wins for Evita and Gypsy, LuPone has starred in Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd and many other shows on Broadway. She also originated the roles of Fantine in Les Miserables and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard on the London stage.
But she wonders how long she can go on.
‘I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore,’ she stated. ‘Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshal the audience as well as perform.’