MILWAUKEE – Patti LaBelle was abruptly rushed off stage just a couple of songs into her Christmas concert in Milwaukee after a bomb threat forced authorities to evacuate the theater.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that video from the Riverside Theater on Saturday night shows what appears to be two security officers interrupting the 78-year-old LaBelle as she chats with an audience member. They rush her off stage. Shortly after, someone announced that the nearly full 2,500-seat theater had to be evacuated because of a bomb threat.
Catherine Brunson, who documented the evacuation on Facebook Live, told the newspaper that the evacuation happened two songs into LaBelle’s concert around 9:24 p.m.
“We came out and police had the block taped off. ... A whole lot of people were pretty upset. ... It’s scary,” Brunson said.
Scott Pierce, who also attended the concert, said everyone exited the theater calmly, but it's “just sad that someone does this.”
Milwaukee Police Capt. Warren Allen Jr. said in a statement early Sunday that K9 units searched the theater and no explosive devices were discovered, so there was no threat to the public.
As of Sunday morning, LaBelle hadn’t issued a statement about the evacuation on social media. The operator of the Riverside Theater, Pabst Theater Group, said it would work with LaBelle to reschedule the show in the future.