January 30, 2009

"This is the theater!" — Patti Lupone goes all diva on an audience member.

"You heard the announcement! Who do you think you are?"

Then there's "LuPWNed! (The Patti LuPone Audience Freakout Remix)":

57 comments:

traditionalguy said...

It's all about boundaries folks. When in NYC, you act like NYC people, where keeping of the rules is accepted as necessary for their ongoing city life. So what that it took a woman to do the rule enforcer's job some man was probably too nice to do. Good job Patti.

Palladian said...

Althouse, you need to ramp it up a couple of notches like Patti. I mean, the Garance Franke-Ruta smackdown was close, but you need to really push it over the top. Blogress Divahood isn't an elected office! It's a DIVINE FUCKING RIGHT!

Ann Althouse said...

LOL, Palladian. A couple times in 25 years of teaching, I have stopped class to confront students who were whispering and giggling. "Is there something funny you'd like to share?" It's very upsetting to students. I once used the occasion to tell about a time I saw a judge throw a lawyer out of court for making faces in reaction to a witness during a trial. Even when it's not your turn to speak, your demeanor matters, I said, embarrassing the disrupters. Subsequently, anonymous student evaluations ripped me for being "unprofessional." As if "professional" means acting as if the bad things other people are doing are completely invisible.

Palladian said...

Hell I do that to students all the time. I usually stop speaking for a few seconds and stare at the perpetrators and then say "Hello! Are you with us? We'd all really like it if you were with us." That makes the other students glare at the perps and then all is well.

Beth said...

That's was Rose's big number, and any flashes or distractions from the audience would likely pull a performer right out of character. People wait the whole play for that number, so I can see why Lupone was pissed. You can hear the audience clapping in response.

You're in a Broadway audience, shut up, put up your phone and camera and enjoy live theater, for goodness' sake.

Ann Althouse said...

Do you think that part of the reason Lupone lost her concentration was that she actually wasn't giving a strong performance of the song?

Ann Althouse said...

"That makes the other students glare at the perps and then all is well."

But your students are artists. More likely to feel shame and be cowed by authority.

traditionalguy said...

"Would you like to join us?" is an often repeated phrase my wife says when I try to reading while a speaker is droning on. Paying attention is overrated, but Flashing lights in actors faces on Broadway should be a criminal misdemeanor with mandatory sentencing.

Palladian said...

"But your students are artists. More likely to feel shame and be cowed by authority."

Ouch.

john said...

Do not fuck

with the woman
with the whip

Franco said...

This is a tough call. I am a musician and many times I've wanted to stop a song because of rudeness the audience. Never have because it is a lose-lose situation.

I wouldn't want to judge but here we see the Diva angry for posterity on you tube because she interrupted a Broadway show and took everyone out of the theatrical space to rant. Will this stop other dimwits? Not really.

john said...

Don't they have ushers at that theater?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do you think that part of the reason Lupone lost her concentration was that she actually wasn't giving a strong performance of the song?

Yes. Listening to her sing was painful. She couldn't carry the tune and her timing was all off. Basically she sucked.

I would want my money back.

EDH said...

Althouse has linked some very funny remixes today!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Of course the people who were taking pictures were rude and should have been ejected from the theater.

As already said. Don't they have ushers to make them stop taking photos?

fcai said...

That was funny. How about the guy making the bootleg - funny and self referential. Well done, Mr. Bootleg making guy...

rhhardin said...

Was it a flash photo or available light? If the latter, she's out of line.

Flash photos in movie theaters is my personal favorite event.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ouch."

Ha ha. Glad you enjoyed that.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe the problem was the 90-db Aaah-OOOO-GA klaxon eminating from the cellphone alerting all children nearby to the fact that a picture was, in fact, being taken.

Odd that noise didn't make the tape. I think someone edited it out.

Palladian said...

"Flash photos in movie theaters is my personal favorite event."

Flash photos out the window of an airplane is a good one too.

Maxine Weiss said...

The paying guests are not responsible for accommodating the performer.

The obligation falls upon the performer to provide an exceptional performance....no matter what's going on in the audience. If the performer is having a bad day, or personal problems, well, that's too bad. Leave your troubles at the stage door, honey.

As for crying babies, cell phones, fits of coughing, loud chewing, snoring, oppressive perfume.....if you don't like all that, maybe you shouldn't sit in a theater with other human beings.

Usually when one goes out into public, and one makes the decision to sit in an enclosed space with thousands of other human beings, then you accept all the odors, sounds, and other quirks of those human beings.

A little like the Superdome.

Franco said...

What if it was a guy in the front row trying to get an upskirt shot?

Context is everything.

Trooper York said...

I don't think you are being fair Dust Bunny Queen. The recording of that number does not give a real appreciation of Patti Lupone's talent. I last saw her in the revival of Sweeny Todd where the actors played their own instruments and she rocked out on the tuba. Her singing voice was great if not wat it was in years gone by in shows like Evita when she was unbelievable.

As I am sure you know, live theater is a lot different than recordings where they can get everything perfect. I am just a gavone but I know the real deal when I see it and Patti Lupone is as good as it gets.

Revenant said...

The paying guests are not responsible for accommodating the performer.

This may qualify as the dumbest thing Maxine has ever said.

Trooper York said...

The ushers are outside smoking a joint while the show is going on except for the one or two nerdy theater geeks who are watching the show for the 500th time. Haven't you been to the theater lately?

Pogo said...

I worry about the offending theater-goer's self-esteem.

I would need serious therapy after being dressed down like that. I'm surprised they didn't get PTSD. I was quivering just watching it on YouTube.

But then, I am not wearing any pants and it is Minnesota in January, so I tend to quiver alot.
But still.

mcg said...

This may qualify as the dumbest thing Maxine has ever said.

I second that emotion.

class-factotum said...

My dad taught school for a while. When the kids were acting up or talking in class, he just walked up and stood next to them, never stopping what he was saying. Just his presence (and unspoken attention) was enough to shut them up.

Course, these were 7th graders. Law students need a more direct approach -- if they haven't learned manners by that age, they are a lot tougher.

Beth said...

Bravo, Trooper. She is the real deal - I saw that production of Sweeney Todd, too, by the way.

That was her return to musical theater after having had surgery on her vocal cords in 1994. I'm so glad for her that she was able to return from that. I had nodes removed from my cords and never recovered my (singing) voice - so she's my hero on that count.

A little like the Superdome.

Cleary, Maxine has never been to the Dome. It is not a place for a show. The Dome is meant to hold 72K people, all shouting at the top of their lungs when the opposing offense lines up for a play. The Dome is meant for Monster Trucks and marching bands and Essence Festival. There's almost never a moment you need to be quiet to hear an important bit of dialogue or a quiet ballad.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, gee, I was a student when, one time the professor of the college class went on a 20-minute coughing jag, and then expected us, the paying clients, to sit in silent resentment as she went about her (involuntary) bodily gyrations, convulsive spasms, and spewing mucus into her tacky facial tissue.

Tolerance is a two-way street.

Love,

Bissage said...

I, for one, am glad to see Maxine back and full of beans.

I sincerely hope she stays focused on her art and stays away from that psychological warfare crap.

Here’s hoping.

Jeff Gee said...

Around 12 years ago my then-wife and I got tickets to see Christopher Plummer in Barrymore and took our daughter, who’d never seen a Broadway show before. At first she didn’t want to go, especially once she found out it was a one man show and there were no songs or anything. “But it’s Captain Von Trapp from Sound of Music,” we said, and that did the trick. So the lights come up and Christopher Plummer jauntily enters stage left pushing a wheeled cart stocked with bottles of booze, and the audience applauds. There was the briefest pause after the applause died down, just long enough for my daughter to gasp, “He looks so old!” Plummer didn’t exactly stay in character, since he hadn’t established one yet; he said, “And he just got a lot older.” More applause, and into the show. And man am I glad at wasn’t Patti LuPone.

Maxine Weiss said...

Lupone is nothing but an amateur, and these sophomoric stunts prove it.

Furthermore, she has no understanding of the character of Rose Hovic who was a generous, lenient, and eccentric sort, and would never engage in the type of gimmick-tirades that Lupone does.

___________________

Beth: please do something about your participles. They're dangling all over the place.

Love,

TMink said...

Does she always have such pitch problems?

I thought Divas were supposed to sing the right notes.

Trey (auditioning for the Simon job)

Maxine Weiss said...

Um, there are any number of distractions both onstage and off, not to mention all kinds of things occuring backstage.

If Lupone is rattled by something as innocuous and trival as , gasp, a stray audience camera, then she's clearly not Broadway material, much less dinner theater. I wouldn't even let this chick sing Happy Birthday for free.

Nothing unreasonable, or injurious, about a paying audience member snapping a picture. Lupone is simply unsuitable for the theater or performing.

Love,

Susan said...

I remember hearing a story about Katherine Hepburn stopping a performance because of someone taking photos and her saying something like "OK we're going to stop while one selfish woman gets her pictures."

LutherM said...

From a long time ago, I remember Ethel Merman, and Rosalind Russell (or whoever sang for her) - and, in a different role, Patti

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d01NpclvlE

Any person who says that Lupone is "simply unsuitable for the theater or performing" deserves to watch revivals of "Godspell" in church auditoriums.

Linus said...

I have heard a story told by a friend who swears he was there the night at a performance of The Iceman Cometh, where a guy in the 3rd row started talking on the phone, and Kevin Spacey stopped, and looked right at the guy for a few seconds until the guy stopped talking, whereupon Spacey said "Tell them you're BUSY." Don't know if it's true, but it sounds pretty awesome to me.

mcg said...

LutherM, Maxine knows quite well she's trolling. The stuff she's sincere about can be pathetic enough; but once she hooks you she reels you in with the bullshit. Your Godspell suggestion sure sounds like a compelling payback!

Titus'sStimulusPackage said...

Patty Lupone doing that is so gay.

Matt Eckert said...

I think Maxine is entirely correct. I remember Miss Weiss from her performing days in Tijuana. The shouts and screams of the crowd did not distract her in the least and she kept her concentration to complete a magnificent performance.

However the donkey seemed to be very disconcerted.

ricpic said...

I don't dig these force of nature belters, Merman or Lupone.

Sing the song don't flatten me.

traditionalguy said...

Good grief, the theater experience is not some contested centered, partisan politics with us the paying audience pitted against those high fallutin actors. To enjoy live theater requires for you to feel as if you and the stage set + actors are all in one room enjoying a shared interraction with each other. That requires basic manners just like you use in any social engagements. It isn't a dunking tank at the County Fair. You need to act a little classier.

Christy said...

Alas, I was once the target of Diva outrage. Seated front and center in a lounge, listening to a jazz stylist, the rest of our party arrived and we unhinkingly went into big welcome mode. I was properly intimidated, others, not so much.

RR Ryan said...

Folks, I'm sure the program and probably the ticket specify that flash photography is not allowed. End of discussion. And obviously the audience was on her side.

Mrs. Erika Brechtel said...

Yes, Maxine never broke character once, despite a variety of louche and lewd goings-on in the audience.

Ever the Grand Dame, she ignored it all, and simply kept on going.

Oligonicella said...

I attended a Zappa concert where some in the audience were tossing prunes on stage. Not sure why, maybe something about a song or previous performance. Zappa kicked a few back and said "One more fucking prune and there's no concert." There were no more fucking prunes.

mcg said...

Maybe they mistook Zappa for Maxine. I'm told she works them into her act, so to speak.

fcai said...

I saw The Mothers of Invention at Johns Hopkins in '67. I am pretty sure that Maxine's moustache is much heavier than Frank Zappa's moustache.

At that show, Frank invited the audience on stage. I went. Got to see all the Mothers up close and personal, including Jimmy Carl Black, the indian of the group.

Matt Eckert said...

I just feel bad for the donkey.

Dennis said...

The "photographer(s)" were wrong, not to mention boorish, and certainly should have been removed by the ushers, but by breaking from the scene, LuPone disrupted everyone on stage with her as well as all of the musicians. I don't think that's right, either. Concentrate, for crying out loud, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of everyone else who's managing to keep going.

mcg said...

That's fine maybe the first or second time the asshole took the picture---but the ushers should have escorted the person out of the theater by then. That didn't happen for some reason.

joewxman said...

flash photography is a also safety issue for an actor as it can be blinding. And that first step into the orchestra pit is a lulu!

i loved in SPAMALOT where before the show starts, in typical monty python fashion, the announcer says flash photography is perfectly ok as it gives us the wonderful opportunity to escort you out of the theater.

TMink said...

Rude lewd.

The lady can't sing. So the diva stuff is just compensation.

Trey

Joe Hogan said...

Patti, you go girl!

Leaving aside any copyright issues, taking photos is dangerous as it temporarily blinds the actors and is a distraction for the audience and cast.

Anyone going to the theater needs to shut off their phones and cameras, show up on time, not 15 minutes into the first act and shut the fuck up.

jr565 said...

I recognize the sanctity of the theater and the need for the artist/thespian to have undivided attention so as to deliver her songs of profundity.
People paid money to see her perform she has the mike. Got all that.

I just hope that if a group like Code Pink tries to disrupt events with the tin foil ass hattery trying to score their political points while someone is trying ot give a speech they don't care for, that someone goes as DIVA on them and demands that they be escorted out of the building with as much force and that the usual crowd doesn't then jump up and down about how people are denied freedom of speech.
"Don't Tase Me Bro!"

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