If people do irritating stuff during a Broadway show, imagine how actors feel who deal with it 8 performances a week. Wait! Thanks to Patti LuPone who grabbed a cell phone from an audience member, we know exactly how they feel.
In case you missed it LuPone, who plays a super diva in “Shows for Days,” Douglas Carter Beane‘s new comedy at Lincoln Center about a community theater group in his hometown, was having a challenging day last Wednesday. Four cellphones went off, twice from the same phone, reported the NYTimes. It created, as LuPone put it, “a cacophony of noise.”
It gets better … I mean, worse. That night a young woman seated at the end of the second row texted — and texted and texted. While remaining in character, LuPone walked into the audience and took the woman’s phone. She handed it to the stage manager who handed it to the house manager who one assumes handed it to the theatergoer after the show ended.
LuPone famously stopped a performance during “Gypsy” in 2009 to yell at someone in the audience taking photos.
But that’s not the craziest thing that happened recently. Before the July 2 curtain of “Hand to God” a 19-year-old man, whose cell phone was dead, jumped on stage to plug it in to an outlet on the set. Which didn’t work because … It’s. Not. Real.
PlayBill.com tracked him down late last week and posted an interview with him on FaceBook. His name is Nick Silvestri and he’s not sure what all the fuss was about. Why did he do it? “Girls were calling all day. What would you do?” Read the story here.
And you don’t have to be young to be inconsiderate of fellow theatergoers and actors. In April, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote, directed and stars in the hot new musical “Hamilton,” Tweeted about a celebrity texting during the show when it was still at the Public Theater. The NY Times says it was widely reported at the time the celeb was Madonna.
So what’s a theater to do other than play a recorded voice telling people to turn off their phones and unwrap that piece of candy before the show starts? And, no, theaters can’t jam cell phone signals. Here are some ideas.
To get tickets for “Shows for Days” click here.
To get tickets for “Hand to God,” click here.
To get tickets for “Hamilton,” click here.