LA Times

Cellphone Snatching Thrusts Tony-Winning Actress Into New Role as Voice of Everyone Who’s Fed Up With the Devices

Jul 10, 2015  •  Post A Comment

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.”

shows for days-patti lupone



  1. F***in’ right! Same for the pre-and post-teen jerks in movie theaters who are addicted to the damn phones. You did the right thing, Patti.

  2. When the first cell phone came out, people using them in public were considered rude, and the proliferation of them has not only intensified that rudeness, but has spread the acceptance of that rudeness, which has grown and grown ever since. I once drove 2.5 hours to meet someone for dinner. Within 5 minutes of ordering, she received a text, and spent the next 5 minutes texting, and didn’t even seem to know I was still there. I got up and left.

  3. Hurrah for Patti! Even worse are the people in the movie theater who record parts of the movies for their friends and think no one sees them. Then the phone rings or a text ring comes on. For the experts they are supposed to be with these phones, these people don’t know the basics of turning off the sound when they are stealing copyrighted materials.

  4. Yea for Patti!! Phones should be confiscated if it’s used or goes off during the performance/Film and anyone talking, at all, during performances should be unceremoniously booted without refund!! It’s time for some folks to learn that it is not okay to be inconsiderate and disrespectful!

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