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Tri-State Theater
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

More About Stopping the Show

The debate over Patti Lupone stopping a Gypsy performance to berate an audience member who was taking photos during the show continues. (If you missed it, just scroll down - it was the subject of the last post.)

Some people applaud what she did - and certainly the audience was loud in its approval, as heard on the audio - but others, myself included, think she was way off base, interrupting a show to address some lout in the audience.

Most theaters have ushers to keep the audience under control and toss out troublemakers, and the actors should leave those matters to them. For that matter, if someone was being annoying enough, the audience members would probably rise up and run him off.

But actors are taught to keep the show moving if at all possible, and stopping the orchestra and breaking character brings the show to a screeching halt. I've seen young performers keep on singing and dancing while alarms were ringing - if they can do that, surely a pro like LuPone can deal with someone being rude.

Of course, her character in Gypsy is a big diva - so maybe she was just so into character that she couldn't help herself.

I wasn't there, so maybe she was justified - but it sure seems to break every rule in theatre.