Broadway legend Patti LuPone is famous for her long history of calling out theatergoers who fail to follow proper theater etiquette, and that continued Tuesday when she exchanged harsh words with an anti-mask attendee during a production of “Company” on Broadway.
The interaction occurred after the show, when LuPone — who stars in the musical as Joanne — appeared with the rest of her cast in a post-show Q&A hosted and filmed by the American Theater Wing. During the Q&A, LuPone called out a patron who wasn’t wearing a mask properly. Currently, the Broadway League’s COVID safety protocols requires all audience members to wear a mask inside theaters through at least May 31.
“Put your mask on over your nose, that is the rule,” LuPone says in a viral Twitter video. “That’s why you are in the theater, that is the rule. If you don’t want to follow the rule, get the fuck out!”
After applause from the rest of the audience, LuPone continued. “I’m serious. Who do you think you are, if you do not respect the people that are sitting around you?”
After a woman in the audience told LuPone “I pay your salary,” LuPone responded by telling her “You pay my salary? Bullshit. Chris Harper pays my salary,” referring to the producer of “Company.” “Who do you think you are? Just put your mask over your nose.”
More Patti LuPone energy from everyone please
— Tara Dublin 🇺🇦🌻 (@taradublinrocks) May 11, 2022
This isn’t the first time LuPone has had harsh words for theatergoers who have attended her shows. In 2009, while starring in a revival of the classic musical “Gypsy,” she stopped her performance of the closing song “Rose’s Turn” to demand that an audience member taking pictures be thrown out of the theater. In 2015, she made headlines for snatching a phone from the hands of a texting audience member while performing in a Lincoln Center production of “Show Days.”
On Monday, LuPone received a Tony nomination for supporting actress in a musical for her performance in “Company.” The nomination is her eighth over the course of her career. She’s won twice, for her leading role in “Evita” in 1980 and for her performance in “Gypsy.”