For Patti LuPone it’s as easy as wearing a mask or exiting stage left.
LuPone, 73, wasn’t having it Tuesday after a theatergoer did not appear to wear their mask covering their nose. During a Q&A panel at the American Theater Wing, alongside her “Company” costars, the “American Horror Story” actress told someone in the audience to “put your mask over your nose.”
In video clips posted to Twitterwhich have quickly gone viral, the legendary Broadway actress continued to scold the patron: “That’s why you’re in the theater. That is the rule,” she said.
The current vaccination and mask policies for Broadway shows in New York City state that audiences are required to wear a mask through at least May 31. After April 30, many stopped checking vaccination status, according to the Broadway website. Audience masking protocols for June and beyond will be announced sometime this month, the website states.
“If you do not want to follow the rule, get the (expletive) out. I’m serious,” LuPone continued. “Who do you think you are if you do not respect the people sitting around you?”
The theatergoer did not stay quiet and yelled back at LuPone: “I pay your salary.”
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The Tony winner clapped back: “You pay my salary? Chris Harper pays my salary,” she responded referring to the “Company” producer.
USA TODAY has reached out to LuPone representatives for further comment.
LuPone’s impassioned comments come weeks after the Broadway star tested positive for COVID-19 in late February. “Hi Dolls. I showed up for Saturday’s matinee, tested positive for Covid with 3 tests,” she tweeted at the time. “Unfortunately, I’ll be out of the show for 10 days. I’m so sorry.”
During a March 17 appearance on “The View,” LuPone said she wore a negative COVID-19 test as a “badge of honor for over two years, and the little bugger found me.”
“It could have been worse,” she said, adding she was grateful for science and vaccines to combat the virus.
“I still take the precautions and I hope that they keep the mask mandate in the theaters for longer… we are not out of this,” LuPone said.
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While speaking to “The View” hosts, LuPone also spoke about her return to New York’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theater following her COVID stint, and how she was welcomed with another hiccup.
During the curtain call for one of the shows, a bouquet of long-stemmed roses was thrown on stage and accidentally hit her head. “First of all, that is a huge compliment when roses are thrown on the stage, that is a huge compliment so I appreciate it very much. However, one should throw underhanded, not overhanded and one should aim for the feet, not the head , and one should take the thorns out of the roses, “LuPone joked.
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LuPone was nominated for a Tony Award Monday for best performances by an actress in a featured role in a musical for her role in “Company,” the Stephen Sondheim musical comedy starring Katrina Lenk.
The Broadway star has also been awarded a Tony for her roles in “Evita” and “Gypsy.”
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