FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Yesterday was the 10th Anniversary of one of the most famous rants ever in Broadway history… the one that started all the headlines about horrible Theater Etiquette behavior on the Great White Way.
On January 10th, 2009, the recent Broadway revival of the legendary musical GYPSY was performing on its 2nd to last day of its run at the St. James Theatre. During her performance of the musical's showstopping finale ROSE'S TURN, Broadway legend Patti LuPone (who won her 2nd Tony for her performance in this production as "Mama Rose") experienced several flashes that were coming from the audience causing her to almost trip on stage twice. By the time the 3rd flash went off, LuPone knew enough was enough. She stopped the show to yell at the rude audience members taking the pictures before kicking them out and starting the song all over again.
In addition to the event happening, another naughty audience member snuck an illegal audio recording from that performance. It was posted on YouTube which the rant went viral.
During one of our recent tours within this past year, there was something we just learned from some of the ushers that work at the St. James Theatre (during GYPSY) remembering that night. The audience member turned out… HE WAS A REPORTER. OOPS!!!
Still to this day, Patti LuPone has officially become the chief officer of Theater Etiquette police. Fun little fact for those who have seen Patti LuPone in the current gender swap revival of Company West End in London, she does the pre-show announcement for it at the very beginning reminding everyone no cell phones, cameras, or recordings.
Thoughts about that night?