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Patti LuPone told a maskless audience member of ‘Company’ to “get the f*** out”.
The 73-year-old Broadway legend - who is currently starring the Stephen Sondheim musical on the Great White Way - forced a COVID-19 ruler breaker to vacate the premises after she rudely refused to properly wear a face covering, despite Broadway shows requiring them months after the rest of New York City dropped the mandate.
In a viral video from earlier this week, Patti, mid-performance, can be heard shouting: "That is the rule. If you don't want to follow the rules, get the f**k out!"
She added: "Who do you think you are, that you do not respect the people that are sitting around you? Put your mask over your nose, that's why you're in the theater.”
In response, the victim of the tirade said: "I pay your salary," before Patti - who originated the role of Eva Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Evita’ in the 70s - clapped back: “You pay my salary? B*******. [Producer] Chris Harper pays my salary."
Patti - who tested positive for COVID-19 in February and March - continued: "Who do you think you are? Just put your mask over your nose, we have worked really hard."
According to reporting from PEOPLE, the audience members were eventually asked to leave after Patti said “f*** this” before leaving the stage.
The sources claimed that Patti was at first polite and that the offending patrons “were so rude”.
They told the magazine: "They just kept shaking their heads at her. That's when she hit a breaking point, taking the mic, stopping the panel, and demanding they follow the rules. These people were so rude."
A spokesperson for the production - which sees a gender swapped main role, based on the 2018 London version starring Rosalie Craig, ‘Bridgerton’ star Jonathan Bailey and Patti herself - issued a statement about how they “support her efforts” to keep theatre safe.
It said: "Over the course of her storied career, Patti has always had an unshakable bond with the audience, and she takes their role as seriously as her own. She is also a fierce advocate for the entire theatrical workforce. We stand with Patti and support her efforts to keep our entire community -- from patrons to ushers, cast to stage crew -- safe and healthy so we can keep Broadway open."
The statement - which came from Chris Harper’s office - was signed off by the producer, who labelled himself as “the man who pays Patti LuPone's salary.”