Broadway’s strict mask policy — that you must wear one in almost every place in the theater save for a designated area for eating and drinking — still applies even after most theaters have lifted their vaccination mandate. But after Tuesday night’s performance company At the Bernard J. Jacobs Theater, a woman appeared to be violating the policy, resulting in one of the show’s stars being called off the stage.
In a 36-second video filmed by someone in the audience during a talkback – in which several members of the cast talk to the audience about the show – with companyThe female cast members, Patti LuPone, who plays Joanne on the show, addressed someone in the audience directly. companyThe COVID Safety Policy on its website states: “All guests are required to wear a well-fitting mask over their nose and mouth in the theater except when eating or drinking in designated areas. Guests who do not follow these guidelines will be refused entry or asked to leave the theater.”
We don’t see the person LuPone is talking to, but when LuPone addresses her directly, LuPone says that the woman wasn’t wearing her mask properly and that she had it under her nose.
“Put your mask over your nose,” says LuPone from the picture. “That’s why you’re in the theater. That’s the rule. If you don’t want to follow the rule, fuck off! Who do you think you are if you don’t respect the people around you?”
Another angle of the incident showed the woman who addressed LuPone seated just a few rows from the stage, but only the back of her head is visible.
When LuPone told the woman to fix her mask, the audience cheered.
“I pay your salary,” the woman said, seeming to imply that ticket purchases directly fund LuPone’s paycheck. Amid boos, LuPone quickly replied, “You’re paying my salary? Nonsense. [Company producer] Chris Harper pays my salary. Who do you Think You Are? Just put your mask over your nose.”
The woman was kicked out of the theater after playwright Sarah Jae Leiberwho attended Tuesday’s show.
In a statement to the Daily Dot, Harper showed his support for LuPone and commended her efforts to help company‘s company for sure.
“Throughout her colorful career, Patti has had an unwavering bond with audiences, and she takes her role as seriously as her own,” said Harper. “She is also a passionate advocate for the entire theater workforce. We stand with Patti and support her efforts to keep our entire community—from guests to ushers, cast to stage crew—safe and healthy so we can keep Broadway open.”
And online, people were quick to praise LuPone and berate the woman for trying to disrespect a Broadway legend.
“After two years, it disgusts me that people still think they can flout rules designed to prevent people from getting sick and dying,” noted Twitter user @BearKosik.
“I was just thinking about a woman who said to Patti LuPone, ‘I’m paying your salary,’ and I started laughing again. Yes Karen, your $50 at TKTS goes a long way,” added @Anakela21.
companywhich opened in late 2021 after pandemic delays, was nominated for nine Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for LuPone.
*Initial publication: May 11, 2022 at 11:31 am CDT
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and television/film critic at the Daily Dot. Covering entertainment, geek culture and pop culture, she has covered everything from the Sundance Film Festival, NYFF and Tribeca to New York Comic Con and Con of Thrones. She lives in Brooklyn.
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/patti-lupone-blasts-broadway-karen/ Patti LuPone blasts anti-mask crowd