Patti LuPone cursed out a Maskless Karen during a Broadway ‘talk back’ session

Patti LuPone is one of those legendary divas of stage and screen. I mean, her main thing is Broadway and more specifically, musical theater. Her voice is divine and she IS my Eva Peron. Patti is still on stage right now, doing a Tony-nominated revival of Company. The current Broadway rule is “Broadway is back, but wear a mask.” That’s it. I’m not even sure if theaters are doing temperature checks for theater-goers. But apparently “wear a mask” was too f–king difficult for one Karen. As part of Company’s talkback session, Patti noticed that Karen seemingly had her mask on, but her nose was sticking out. So Patti called out to her from the stage and, well…

Somewhere, a drag queen is wearing his bob-haircut wig and practicing this speech in the mirror:

“Put the mask on; we worked so hard to get back…. Oh, do you want me to put a mask on, because I will. Your mask protects me so that I can perform. Put your mask over your nose! That’s why you’re in the theater. That is the rule. If you don’t want to follow the rule, get the f*ck out!… I’m serious. Who do you think you are that you do not respect the people that are sitting around you?” When the defiant woman responds, “I pay your salary,” LuPone scoffs, “You pay my salary! Bullsh-t. Chris Harper pays my salary. Who do you think you are? Just put you mask over your nose. Oh my f*cking god.”

[From Deadline]

“Get the f–k out” was definitely a highlight, but the way she spits out “You pay my salary, Bullsh-t!” is Tony-worthy. Chris Harper is the lead producer of Company, by the way. And he’s sticking up for his diva (because she’ll have his head if he doesn’t). Seriously, what kind of dumbass Maskless Karen do you have to be to TALK BACK to Patti LuPone?? “I pay your salary” is basically Maskless Karen’s version of “you work for me.” No, honey, Patti LuPone does not work for your dumb ass.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

42 Responses to “Patti LuPone cursed out a Maskless Karen during a Broadway ‘talk back’ session”

  1. Kate says:

    No temperature checks for attendees. There was a vax mandate to attend that ended at the end of April (why, I don’t know), although the mask requirement was extended.
    I’ve been to a few shows in the last month while these protections have been in place and people are very good about wearing masks AND the staff is very good about reminding people to put their masks on when they’re not eating/drinking.

    • C-Shell says:

      @Kate, I was posting at the same time LOL, but didn’t know the vax mandate was lifted (I don’t live in New York). All I know is it made me feel safe attending the performance (of “Music Man”) so I could relax and enjoy.

      • Kate says:

        Totally agree! I saw Music Man in April with my mom (my first show in like 3 years even though I do live in NYC), and I was only comfortable going because of the vax and mask requirements. It was such a fun show and I was so happy to be in a theater that I cried LOL. I hope you enjoyed it!

      • jan90067 says:

        I was in NY 2 wks ago, and went to two shows with my nephew. We had to show our vax record, our ID (to make sure you weren’t using someone else’s card!), and ushers walked up and down the aisle with signs that said, “KEEP YOUR MASK UP”. They actually went over to someone who had it under her nose and told her to pull it up or they’d have her escorted out. She did pull it up, but damn if that usher didn’t hover and keep an eye to make sure it stayed up!

      • C-Shell says:

        @Kate, we adored MM! Sutton Foster and Jackman were delightful! The auction after for Broadway Cares was hilarious and brought in BIG bucks.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Some theaters still mandate proof of vaccination. It depends on the theater and the performers. Even if the theater itself doesn’t require proof of vaccination, it will if the show management requires it. My sister ushers.

      • Kate says:

        @lightpurple Sure, but there was previously a broad vax and mask requirement for all theaters and now the legal vax mandate has been dropped. That’s great if some theaters/shows are still requiring it, but TDF says the overwhelming majority of theaters dropped it.
        “So, as of May 1, the only Broadway productions requiring proof of vaccination are Birthday Candles, How I Learned to Drive, The Minutes and The Skin of Our Teeth.”
        It’s a little odd to me because they cite the relatively high rate of vaccination in NYC as why the mandate is no longer needed…but a lot of people attending Broadway shows are tourists. It will be really crazy to me if they really do drop the mask requirement at the end of May as they are saying.

      • LightPurple says:


        Yes, I know all that. As I said, my sister ushers and is updating us on this constantly. Many of the regional theaters, especially those with touring productions follow “Broadway Rules,” which are being evaluated and re-evaluated constantly. The touring productions, in particular, have been very strict about requiring vaccination proof and masks.

  2. C-Shell says:

    Just an FYI — a few weeks ago I was privileged to see “Music Man” and they didn’t take temps, but masks and proof of vax were enforced before theatre goers were allowed in the building. My friends and I were surrounded by families with young children, all of whom wore their masks, all the time. It was awesome.

    Talking back to Patti Lupone?! Even in NYC, that level of chutzpah is impressive. 😳

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      Protect Patti Lupone at all costs. She tells everyone off. Trump, Madonna, doesn’t matter when, doesn’t matter who. She wears her emotion on her sleeve and that’s why she’s among the most amazing actresses who’ve ever graced the stage. And if COVID Karen callously kills her with her Kareny snotty snooty nose sticking out of her mask, she will not be seen in New York again.

      • C-Shell says:

        😁😁 “Kareny snotty snooty nose …” 😂😂

        There’s a sky rise foundation being poured with her name on it.

  3. Barbie1 says:

    The twitter comments are so hilarious. Patti is a treasure and not to be messed with.

  4. Becks1 says:

    We went in February and they were still doing the vax check and masks were required. I think the vax requirement was dropped though based on numbers, but wonder if they will add it back. Anyway, we saw Hamilton and it was crowded (of course) but everyone in a mask made me feel a lot more comfortable, EXCEPT that the jackass next to me was wearing glasses, so wore his mask below his nose so he didn’t fog his glasses. I wish Patti Lupone had been in that theater, ha.

    She’s an icon and I love seeing this clip.

    (btw we also saw SIX and if you have the chance to see it, or just listen to the music, do it, because its SO GOOD!)

  5. Mary-Jo says:

    “The last person to yell “I pay your salary!” to Patti LuPone was Andrew Lloyd Webber and he hasn’t had a hit since” 🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Lightpurple says:

    Patti has also been known to stop in the middle of performances to tell people to stop taking pictures or to turn off their phones. She even stepped off the stage one night and grabbed a woman’s phone without missing a line.

    In her touring show, she tells a great story about her first head shot. She didn’t know any photographers so her brother’s friend took it and her brother suggested she pose with a knife. She held a knife up to her face and that’s the picture she sent to Juilliard.

    You don’t mess with Patti. When in the theater, you’re in her palace and you should behave accordingly.

  7. Merricat says:

    Lol, how dumb do you have to be to talk back to Patti? I adore her.

    • MissMarirose says:

      Everyone knows what Patti LuPone is like, even people like me out in the sticks who’ve never seen a Broadway play. This person was looking to instigate and get into a viral moment.

      • Merricat says:

        Nah, that audience member was put on the spot, so she acted true to her form.

      • L84Tea says:

        Even I knew back in the early 90’s as a 7th grader about Patti not being one to be messed with. The first time I ever heard what a diva was, it was my mom telling me about Patti LuPone.

  8. Trina says:

    This will be really unpopular but I think the way she talks to people is a bit over the top.

    • LIONE says:

      I’m with you. I find this incredibly rude and abusive.
      What a big Ego you must have to speak to someone like that. And she speaks to a lot of people like this, with no problems? That’s concerning.

      She full-on Karened the Karen.

      • Turtledove says:

        She was harsh, but I get where she is coming from. A friend of mine lives in NY and in early 2020 when everything was shut down, she pointed something out to me that I had not really thought of. So many people work on Broadway, in so many capacities. The sound guys, props people, set builders, makeup, costumes, front of the house staff, just so many people besides the performers. And a lot of those people have side gigs to make ends meet, in bars, restaurants, temping etc. ALL of their sources of revenue were gone. So many places closed permanently. And it took so long for Broadway to be open. The rule in that theatre was wear a mask. And that audience member opted NOT to. I have to imagine that Patti knew many people who suffered greatly while Broadway was closed due to Covid and doesn’t want to see it happen again, and that woman was disrespectful to all of them.

      • Rose says:

        I’m fine with it.

        I work in healthcare. I got to hold up a lot of iPads for people like that selfish maskless theatre idiot so their selfish maskless families could say goodbye to them over FaceTime.

        Act like a fool, get treated like one.

    • Melanie says:

      Trina: I absolutely agree and I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I guess asking the audience member nicely to wear the mask properly wasn’t an option.

      • ANON says:

        They asked nicely when they told Karen the rules upfront. If she’s coming into their workplace and flagrantly violating a safety rule, she’s lost her “nice” privileges.

    • Fabiola says:

      Normally I wouldn’t condone Patti’s behavior but those non mask/partial mask wearers need to be called out. I was at church and two people at our church were the only ones not wearing a mask. There are elderly and children at the church and there aren’t windows. I wish someone would have shamed them and called them out.

  9. Izzy says:

    She is amazing. Those Tweets are solid gold. The one about the obscure NY law… 😂😱

    • BothSidesNow says:

      That was delicious!!! Patti is a national treasure and one we should all bow down to as she certainly should be treated as such!!

      • LIONE says:

        Do you really think some people are more valuable than others and therefore are ok and allowed to act this way?

        Their equals. We’re all humans.

        As a thought experiment flip the tables. Some “nobody” speaks to Patti this way. Is that okay? Why/why not?

  10. Jessica says:

    This is exactly what patients say to nursing staff/CNAs, etc, when you take too long to bring them a cup of water or some other nonsense. If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me they pay my salary, I wouldn’t need a salary. Good for her. I wish I could tell my patients that!

    • LightPurple says:

      Government workers get it on practically every phone call, as if they don’t pay taxes too and it usually comes from people who are trying to get out of paying taxes,, fees, or fines.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s terrible! Just a terrible way to treat people. I had no idea anyone would do such a thing. Your patients (the awful ones) don’t deserve you!
      LP: yeah, as a fed I’ve heard dumb stuff like that, too. And because we work in public service, we get called ‘servants’, as though calling us ‘servants’ puts us in our place somehow?

    • Binghamgal says:

      People used to tell me that when I was a newspaper editor — that their taxes paid my salary. As if, well, for starters, newspapers were part of the government instead of keeping an eye on the government. And, for seconders, as if you were entitled to talk in that insanely entitled way to anyone whose services you helped pay for. When I see the ridiculous comments people make now about the media, I think back to those calls and think, Yup. There’s no cure for incivility. Or ignorance.

  11. lucy2 says:

    Imagine having the nerve to say that to Patti! OMG. What a complete idiot that woman was.

    I love Patti. I saw her in a show years ago, she’s just the best and a total pro. I’m going to a show in a few weeks, I won’t feel comfortable unless masks are strictly enforced.

  12. LouLou says:

    I went to a show in Oregon a couple weeks ago. Hundreds (or more) of people all showed proof of vaccination and wore masks. And then an entire family sat a few rows in front of me and took off their masks for the entire time they were there, including walking around during intermission and using the restroom. I was so mad. They did an excellent job of pretending they weren’t doing anything wrong.

  13. AmelieOriginal says:

    I was at City Center (another NYC theater that is pretty well known) to see a flamenco show end of April and they were still checking vaccine cards and required masks which made me feel better. I unfortunately now have covid but it wasn’t from the show, I got it from my dad. As far as I’m concerned Patti Lupone can do whatever she likes!!! She’s earned her diva status.

  14. Shelley says:

    Am I wrong in seeing that no one on stage is wearing a mask? I’m on my crummy phone, so maybe that’s the problem. If no one on stage is wearing a mask, then I think that’s equally inexcusable as this audience members behavior.

    • The Voice says:

      The cast isn’t wearing masks bc they’re there to entertain. Presumably they abide by strict Covid protocol including testing often to make sure they’re not sick so that they can perform. The masked audience ensures not only the cast’s safety but the safety of everyone around them.

      If you’re indoors at a facility, follow their rules and all should be fine.

  15. TEALIEF says:

    Well, this was a wine and popcorn moment, if they allowed popcorn in the theatre. On quick analysis, this woman was wrong in that she violated the mask wearing rules. Second, coming from a purely strategic stance, even with theatre acoustics, did she think it smart to get into a riposte with the person on the stage with the microphone? From that point of engagement, HELL NO. Patti Lupone had ALL of the high ground: literal, ethical, rules, public health, audience, etc. This person was chewed up and spat out; keelhauled; dragged; pick you favourite term for this thrashing, because she didn’t at any point think.

Commenting Guidelines

Read the article before commenting.

We aim to be a friendly, welcoming site where people can discuss entertainment stories and current events in a lighthearted, safe environment without fear of harassment, excessive negativity, or bullying. Different opinions, backgrounds, ages, and nationalities are welcome here - hatred and bigotry are not. If you make racist or bigoted remarks, comment under multiple names, or wish death on anyone you will be banned. There are no second chances if you violate one of these basic rules.

By commenting you agree to our comment policy and our privacy policy

Do not engage with trolls, contrarians or rude people. Comment "troll" and we will see it.

Please e-mail the moderators at cbcomments at to delete a comment if it's offensive or spam. If your comment disappears, it may have been eaten by the spam filter. Please email us to get it retrieved.

You can sign up to get an image next to your name at Thank you!

Leave a comment after you have read the article

Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment