It’s the new line of accessories no self-respecting theater kid can be without.
TodayTix, the mobile ticketing app focusing on live theater, has a few new things in their online gift store. A button at the top of their home page encourages visitors to “Shop Patti LuPone Merch” but you won’t find posters from the original Broadway run of Evita or CDs of Heatwave: Patti LuPone Sings Irving Berlin. Instead, there is a celebration of a much more recent triumph.
As we reported earlier this week, the two-time Tony winner went to war with an audience member who failed to wear her mask properly during a post-show talkback of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, in which LuPone co-stars with Katrina Lenk.
“That is the rule,” the 73-year-old Long Island-born legend reminded the errant theater-goer. “If you don’t want to follow the rule, get the fuck out!”
While LuPone’s statement (and rhetorical “who do you think you are?!?”) was greeted mostly with applause, the masochistic individual who thought she could cross swords with the woman who played Mama Rose in Gypsy and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard wasn’t having it. “We pay your salary!” she dared (dared!) to suggest.
“You pay my salary? Bullshit!” LuPone struck back. “Chris Harper pays my salary,” she said, naming one of the top producers of the Company revival.
It’s unlikely that the London-based producer ever dreamed he’d end up a meme, but that’s what happens when Patti LuPone shouts your name at unsophisticated rubes who act rudely at the the-a-ter. As such, one can now buy a “Chris Harper Pays My Salary” t-shirt, sweatshirt, mug, or (of course) mask at the TodayTix shop.
The collection also includes merch featuring the line “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” dated for 2009 (see below on that) and 2022. Also, tote bags with “the full rant.” (We quibble a bit, however, with calling it a rant. A righteous rebuke is more like it!)