The headline of the June 22 NYT post: "Another Show-Shopping Moment (Not the Good Kind) From Patti LuPone."
Patti was not amused! In a post today, the blogger published LuPone's reaction:
Dear Dave Itzkoff,
Your story about my stopping my concert in Las Vegas on the New York Times ArtsBeat blog was forwarded to me.
I found the tone of your report very snide and feel compelled to write you to ask – what do expect me, or any performer for that matter, to do?
Do we allow our rights to be violated (photography, filming and audio taping of performances is illegal) or tolerate rudeness by members of the audience who feel they have the right to sit in a dark theater, texting or checking their e-mail while the light from their screens distract both performers and the audience alike? Or, should I stand up for my rights as a performer as well as the audiences I perform for?
And do you think I’m alone in this? Ask any performer on Broadway right now about their level of frustration with this issue. Ask the actor in “Hair” who recently grabbed a camera out of an audience member’s hand and threw it across the stage. Or ask the two Queens in “Mary Stuart” (Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer) how they react to it.
I find it telling that my story elicited 47 comments from your readers while a few other stories on the blog elicited a handful, with many getting 0 comments. It certainly touched a chord with people, almost all of whom sounded like audience members, who share in my frustration with what threatens to become standard behavior if no one speaks out and takes action against it.
This has been going on in my career for 30 years since I starred in “Evita,” and, you’re surprised I stop shows now?Sincerely, Patti LuPone
Itzkoff then asked the NYTimes.Com readership their view. As I write, Patti is winning the argument 19-1, with many commenters saying they don't even care for her but they agree that audience members have become very rude. (My Las Vegas Weekly column this week addresses the matter further.)
The one commenter who didn't agree so far wrote: "I paid my money, and I’ll do damn well what I please as an audience member. If I want to talk or tape or film, ehtier [sic] out in the open or sereptitiously I will do it."
Well, good luck to this bozo who doesn't care about anyone's rights or pleasures but his own. Not even Itzkoff is arguing that line, he just wondered if a performer mid-performance is the right person to address the problem.