What Happens When Patti LuPone Attends Your One-Man Show About Patti LuPone?

It’s not uncommon for a gay New York theater type to stage a one-man show about his icon obsession. But it is unusual for said icon to appear in the audience. “New-old-gay ringmaster” Ben Rimalower recently made his debut as a writer-performer in Patti Issues, a solo show at the West Village’s legendary Duplex that explores his troubled history with his gay father and the salvation he found in Broadway diva Patti LuPone.

While La LuPone is known a force to be reckoned with, she’s also a good sport—rumor has it she doesn’t miss a production of Forbidden Broadway—and recently graced the Duplex to see Rimalower’s show. (We would just die. Die! Die! Die!)

“Performing Patti Issues for Patti was both the most nerve-racking and the most rewarding experience of my life,” Rimalower tells Queerty. “I was terrified of disappointing my diva, but the fear and anxiety were well worth suffering for the thrill of hearing her inimitable cackle letting me know I cracked her up. After the show, Patti told me I’m a good writer and that I should keep on writing. Sigh, that ought to stave off writer’s block for at least a decade or two.”

If you’re in the Big Apple and haven’t caught Patti Issues yet, the show has been extended: Additional performances are being held September 13 and 27, October 4, 8, 14, 21 and 28, and November 1.

Buy your ticket today—and for God’s sake TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE!