Theatergoers in New York were evacuated from a performance of the Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill” after someone released a substance — likely pepper spray, police say — inside the auditorium.
The New York Police Department responded to the historic Broadhurst Theatre around 4:15 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call about a suspicious substance, authorities said.
An usher told officers she had seen audience members standing up and coughing in the orchestra section during the second act of the matinee performance, police said.
When she went over to investigate, her eyes began watering and she showed other symptoms consistent with pepper spray exposure. She alerted security, which evacuated the theater, the NYPD said.
When police arrived, a large group of audience members was gathered out on the sidewalk. The New York City Fire Department entered the theater and determined it was likely pepper spray that had been released.
Firefighters helped clear the theater, and the rest of the show was canceled so theater officials could prepare the venue for its evening performance, which went on without incident.
The episode remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.
“Jagged Little Pill” tells the story of a Connecticut family’s tribulations and features music from Alanis Morissette’s record of the same name, which won five Grammys, including the 1995 album of the year.
The musical debuted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2018 and opened on Broadway in December 2019.
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