A highly public cellphone-snatching incident during a stage performance in New York has brought a flurry of attention to two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone.
“The renowned theater actress hit the No. 1 trending spot on Twitter on Thursday following an act of cellphone vigilantism the night before during a performance of Douglas Carter Beane’s ‘Shows for Days’ at Lincoln Center in New York,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “During the performance at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, LuPone broke the fourth wall of acting to snatch a cellphone out the hands of a texting audience member during the play’s second act.”
Following the incident, LuPone told the publication that audience rudeness has been a sore spot with her for years.
“There’s an arrogance and defiance to these people,” the actress told the Times in an interview. “I think it’s gone too far. … Audiences are as upset as actors. It’s only between two and four people a night, but the minute it goes off or a screen turns on, your attention is shattered.”
Commenting on the theater goer involved in Wednesday’s incident, LuPone said: “She was texting through the entire first act — she was sitting at the far end [of the theater]. … I couldn’t believe she came back after intermission. And when I came back, she was still texting.”
LuPone has received an outpouring of support on social media since the incident and has been making the rounds of media outlets to deliver a simple message: “Turn the cellphones off.”