By Brian Ives
Legendary Broadway actress Patti LuPone is fed up with you and your cellphone, and she’s not taking it anymore.
The same is probably true for most other stage actors and theatergoers. But LuPone doesn’t just grouse about it. She takes action.
During a July 8 performance of her current play Shows for Days at Lincoln Center in New York City, LuPone approached an audience member who had been texting and snatched the phone straight out of her hands. All while staying in character.
According to The Daily News, the play Shows for Days is about a community theater, and LuPone plays the artistic director, who usually interacts with audience members. LuPone normally interacts with someone in the front row of the theater, but during Wednesday night’s performance, she chose a woman who had been texting earlier in the show.
(Had that person seen LuPone’s guest spot as “The Cut-Wife” in this season’s Penny Dreadful, she surely would have thought twice about messing with her.)
“We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorded and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones,” LuPone said in a statement following the incident (via Broadway.com). “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 actor 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.”