Patti LuPone shuts down Anti-Mask on Broadway show ‘Company’

Broadway legend Patti LuPone is famous for her long history of criticizing theatergoers who don’t follow proper theatrical etiquette, and that continued Tuesday when she exchanged harsh words with an anti-mask attendee during a Broadway production of “Company.”

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 question-and-answer session hosted and filmed by the American Theater Wing. During the question and answer session, LuPone called out to a cartridge that she was not wearing a mask correctly. Currently, the Broadway League’s COVID safety protocols require all audience members to wear a mask inside theaters through at least May 31.

“Put the mask over your nose, that’s the rule,” says LuPone in a viral Twitter video. “That’s why you’re in the theater, that’s the rule. If you don’t want to follow the rule, go to hell!”

After applause from the rest of the audience, LuPone continued. “I’m serious. Who do you think you are if you don’t respect the people sitting around you?”

After a woman in the audience told LuPone “I pay your salary”, LuPone responded by telling her “Do you pay my salary? Shit. Chris Harper pays my salary”, in reference to the producer of “Company”. “Who do you think you are? Just put the mask over your nose.”

This is not 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 who was taking pictures be ejected from the theater. In 2015, she made headlines for snatching a phone from an audience member who was texting her while performing in a production of “Show Days” at Lincoln Center.

On Monday, LuPone received a Tony nomination for best supporting actress in a musical for her performance in “Company.” The nomination is the eighth over the course of her career. She has won twice, for her leading role in “Evita” in 1980 and for her performance in “Gypsy”.

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