Patti LuPone Snatches Phone From Audience Member’s Hands During Lincoln Center Show

Legendary Stage Actress Says Enough's Enough After Woman Spotted Texting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Bad actors aren’t just on stage.

There was one last night in the audience at Patti LuPone’s performance of Shows for Days.

Several people took to Twitter and said LuPone snatched the phone from an audience member’s hand because she was texting.

Later, LuPone explained why she got fed up.

“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,” LuPone said in a statement, according to 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.”

Shows for Days actor Michael Urie told CBS2’s Jill Nicolini the woman’s use of the phone was distracting to everyone and understands why LuPone did what she did.

“I continued with the play. (LuPone) gave the phone to house management and the woman was forced to find it later,” Urie said.

It’s not the first time LuPone has stopped a show due to audience interference. Back in 2008, she stopped her performance of Gypsy due to an audience member taking photos. That incident was recorded.

Just last week, an audience member clambered onto the stage of Hand to God to charge his phone. Turns out, the outlet was fake and part of the set.

“All the shows in New York are really great, phenomenal shows. If  you’re in a theater you should be watching it,” Hand to God associate producer Lucas McMahon told Nicolini. “You’re going to miss something really great if you are spending your life on your cellphone.”

Broadway actor Christian Borle, who just picked up another Tony Award for his role in Something Rotten, said he sees people on their phones all the time.

“Take a break. That’s all. Put it away. Put it on airplane mode even and just be around other human beings in the moment. That’s what theater is all about, anyway,” Borle said.

LuPone was expected to be back on stage Thursday night at Lincoln Center.

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