Just days after some rude dummy tried to charge his phone by plugging it into a Broadway set’s prop outlet, a different rude dummy with a phone struck the theatre once again. But this time, Tony-winner and hero Patti LuPone was there to put some necessary fear into the audience.
The fiery LuPone, who once flipped out on an audience member for inconsiderately shooting flash photos, was partway into Act 2 of Shows for Days Wednesday night when the offending phone came out somewhere in the second row. And rather than shouting down the obnoxious texting theatergoer, LuPone snatched the phone from her hands and carried it offstage.
LuPone sent Playbill a statement bemoaning the distracted, inconsiderate audiences plaguing Broadway today, and explaining that this bullshit is really starting to get to even the most professional of performers:
“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 marshall the audience as well as perform.”
The problem is that making a spectacle of the assholes in the audience could backfire—it’s so satisfying to see the discourteous get their comeuppance that we’re starting to think of it as part of the entertainment.
In fact, Gothamist points out that someone predicted this incident months before it happened: