There was a definite "scene" at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, where LuPone is starring in Douglas Carter Beane’s Shows for Days.
Audiences arriving at the theatre encountered film crews conducting interviews. The day’s headlines were very much in the air and part of the mood of the whole evening. As this performance happened to be a designated "invited press night," a large portion of the crowd were members of the theatre industry.
At the appointed curtain time, instead of the show starting with Michael Urie’s monologue, a smiling LuPone made her entrance in street clothes to thunderous applause. She soaked it in and finally said, "Anything you want to ask me?"
She then briefly addressed the cell phone incident head-on. "Basically I'm out here — and not the ushers — to say hi to you all and to dispel the myth that I might do something tonight."
She pointed out the exact spot, far house left, where the offending texter was seated and re-enacted it very quickly, describing the lightning-fast grab as "sleight of hand," perhaps as a warning to the current audience, which applauded. LuPone continued, "I'm here to ask all of you to whip out those cell phones, turn them off, and come to the theatre."
Someone shouted, "And you stay in the theatre!," a reference to her statement earlier in the day despairing that “I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore.”
LuPone laughed, grimaced, replied "awww" and nodded thanks.
She concluded, "We love doing the show…It's always just two or three people that wreck it for all of us. I'm on your side, I do it for you."
And she did.
One of the more interesting moments came at the very end of the show. During one of the final pivotal scenes — despite everything LuPone had said — a cell phone went off. It only lasted a few seconds and didn't cause a stoppage, but there were audible sighs and angry glances.
But LuPone herself stayed cool, paid no attention, and went on with the show.
Watch the entire speech in this video posted to Facebook by her husband Matt Johnston:
Posted by Matt Johnston on Friday, July 10, 2015