Ever since Broadway reopened following the COVID-19 shutdown, there have been a number of incidents involving inappropriate behavior on the part of audience members. The use of cell phones during performances. Talking and singing loudly during the shows, and the leaking of nude photographs from the shows, are just a few examples of bad behavior on Broadway, according to Playbill.
This week another shocking incident occurred during a performance of Death of a Salesman, starring The Wire actor Wendell Pierce when an audience member jumped in front of the audience. Luckily, the star handled it like a pro.
An Unruly Woman Was Making a Scene
During the December 27 performance, an unruly woman ran to the front of the auditorium and started yelling at Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the Arthur Miller play. Instead of ignoring it, he got into character, attempting to calm her down.
"Screaming at the Top of Her Lungs"
"I was there, 4 seats away from the lady. She was seated with her husband front row center. During act 1 she was constantly going through her bag loudly, and yelling responses to what the actors were saying. She was very obviously drunk and/or high. During intermission her husband tried to get her to leave. They made their way to the back of the theatre as act 2 was starting then a little while later she starts screaming at the top of her lungs that she wasn't leaving and if she couldn't see the rest of the show neither would anyone else," wrote a patron of the show in a Reddit post about the incident.
She Refused to Leave
"She made her way back to the front of the stage, still screaming, when the show was stopped and house lights were brought up. Wendell Pierce tried to reason with her but she didn't buy it," the Reddit post continued. In videos circulating the web, Pierce, in character, talks to the woman.
Pierce Stayed in Character and Tried to Reason with Her
"Hold on! Talk to me, talk to me. I'll make a deal with you. I'll make a deal with you. I'm going to ask them to let you stay. Hold on, hold on, I'll make a deal with you. Ma'am, I'll make a deal with you, alright? You can stay, but we have a show to do," he said, channeling the character.
He Even Offered Her Money Back
"Hold on! I've waited TOO LONG for this! You've waited too long for this!" he says in another video. Turning to the patron, he says, "If you would like your money back, I will guarantee your money back."
The Cops Came and Escorted Her Out, and the Show Went On
Eventually, the cops came, and the woman and her husband were escorted out of the theater. The show resumed from the last scene. "We're grateful to the entire team at the Hudson Theatre for working together to resolve the situation and resume the performance as quickly as possible," the producers said in a statement.
Pierce "Proved Himself a Great of the Highest Order"
"The true greats of the theater are prepared to handle any variable that comes their way during any given performance," one source told The Post. "On Tuesday, Wendell Pierce certainly proved himself a great of the highest order."