by Calder Holbrook. @CalderHolbrook.
NEW YORK, NY – A 20 minute-long tirade by theatre legend Patti Lupone in response to an audience member using their cellphone has been moved from its original venue in order to accommodate increased demand, producers have announced.
“We had no doubts about filling the Nederlander’s 1,232 seats with a major Patti production,” commented producer Marc Platt, previously responsible for tirades What’s That Humming Noise? starring Bernadette Peters, and Audra McDonald’s You Do NOT Go to the Bathroom Right Now! “But with Ms. Lupone’s peerless ability to lose her cool at an inattentive and distracting tourist from Ohio? I don’t know, is Yankee Stadium available?”
The outburst, now moving to the nearly 2,000 seat Gershwin Theatre, was quickly hailed by attendees as “an emotional tour de force distinguished by biting satire, crackling wit, and multiple show-stopping musical interludes that make up for their failure to completely test Ms. Lupone’s prodigious vocal range with a winning abundance of charm and energy,” among other accolades.
“It was absolutely phenomenal,” enthused Audrie Hauser of Astoria, a first-time theatergoer and life-long fan of people having their worst moments in very public places. “When I saw someone clicking away on their phone and blinding me during the second act I said ‘oh no’, but then Patti saw, and I said ‘oh YES’. I was shocked Ms. Lupone knew some of those words.”
While producers sought to assure the quickly building fan base of the tirade that it will be no less intimate, indignant, or venomous for being staged in the cavernous Gershwin Theatre, critics aren’t so sure.
“The Gershwin has made emotional outbursts from some of theater’s loudest and most abrasive talents seem small and remote,” noted Edward Silver of Playbill, who was recently appointed Editor of Public Diva Outbursts. “Even a screaming match from an all-time great like Ms. Lupone that sends a wrapper-crinkling septuagenarian to the hospital could sound like a quiet and reasonable exchange to the people in the upper mezzanine.”
Critical uncertainty aside, the obnoxious cellphone user who sparked the tirade is not resting on his laurels, coyly telling reporters inquiring about his next move, which includes a very big backpack and a very small dog.