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Patti Lupone snatches phone from audience member mid-performance

By Will Stroude

It was only yesterday that Jonathan Groff slammed that “bitch” Madonna for using her phone throughout a play he was performing in, and now terrifying Broadway diva Patti LuPone has taken aim at a similarly rude audience member.

During a performance on Show for Days in New York on Wednesday (July 8), the Grammy and Tony award-winning stage star snatched a phone out of an audience member’s hand mid-performance  – without even breaking character.

patti lupone

Fuming that she was hired “an actor, not a policeman of the audience”, the 66-year-old told the New York Times following the incident: “This woman – a very pretty young woman – was sitting with her boyfriend or husband. We could see her text. She was so uninterested. She showed her husband what she was texting. We talked about it at intermission. When we went out for the second act I was very close to her, and she was still texting. I watched her and thought, “What am I going to do?”

“At the very end of that scene, we all exit. What I normally do is shake the hand of the people in the front row. I just walked over to her, shook her hand and took her phone. I walked offstage and handed it to the stage manager, who gave it to the house manager.”

She added in an official statement: “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,” she continued. “Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshall the audience as well as perform.”

To be honest, it sounds like the lady had a lucky escape: Back in 2008, Patti actually stopped a performance of Gypsy mid-show to launch into a terrifying tirade at someone who was taking pictures. Relive the iconic diva moment below:

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