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Theater legend Patti LuPone confiscates texter's phone during performance

Technically Incorrect: The legendary Tony Winner decides enough is enough during an off-Broadway play.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Do not mess with Patti LuPone. Cunytv75/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"I'm putting battle gear on over my costume to marshal the audience as well as perform."

This was just one part of a wonderful PR performance offered by legendary stage actress Patti LuPone after an incident for our ages, reported Broadway.com.

What had caused LuPone to dress for war? Why, someone blithely texting in the audience while she and her cast members tried to, well, do what they were actually there for -- perform a comedy called "Shows For Days" at the off-Broadway Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre.

So, as Broadway.com describes it, she went over to the texter and whipped her phone away. CBS New York reported fellow cast member Michael Urie's description of events: "[LuPone] gave the phone to house management and the woman was forced to find it later."

Theatergoers also noticed the action on Wednesday night and leaped to Twitter (after the show, I hope). For example, tweeter It's About Time offered: "THAT TIME YOU STAY FOR THE 2ND ACT & WATCH PATTI LUPONE TAKE A TEXTING WOMAN'S CELLPHONE FROM THE AUDIENCE & WALK OFF STAGE WITH IT IN HAND."

This all comes in the same week in which a man jumped on to a Broadway stage just before a performance to charge his iPhone.

LuPone has previously shown her frustration with cell phones during performances. In 2009 she stopped halfway through "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" in order to question a phone user as to what they were actually doing.

This time, she explained in her statement: "We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones."

She added: "They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else -- the majority of the audience at that performance and the actor on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage any more."

I suspect she will carry on, despite the rude individuals hooked to their digital lives. After all, she's a two-time Tony and Grammy winner. This is her life.

Sadly, as a new Gallup poll pointed out, our lives consist of checking our phone every few minutes.

A comedy that has become a tragedy.