A STAR IS A STAR IS A STAR---REVIEW OF PATTI LUPONE
Submitted by GreatMartin on March 15th, 2014 –
Patti LuPone is A STAR of the 'old school'as well as A STAR of today's Broadway.
She talks about signing a contract--heavy emphasis on 'contract'--to do 8 performances a week--"That is your job, that is your commitment, that is your contract." She talks about how you can't hear most lyrics in a Broadway show because the music is too loud and the singers of today don't enunciate their words. She takes pot shots at Susan Strohan as a director, speaks about her 'sometimes I love him and sometimes I hate him' talking about Steven Sondheim and her love and respect for the late Arthur Laurents. And she has quite a few things to say about rumors and rumor spreaders, tackling some of the rumors about her but, no, she doesn't talk about the 'elephant in the room' the flashbulb incident that took place when she was doing "Gypsy".
She is caustic, funny, direct and, obviously very much at home on the stage. You listen when she talks because she has something to say and says it! She and Seth Rudetsky have been working together for a few years now and they know how to play off each other and they, along with the audience, have fun with it.
When Patti LuPone gets up to sing you know you are in the presence of a star. She is a 'belter' more in the tradition of an Ethel Merman and Barbra Streisand rather than in the current American Idol belters. With each song she is telling a story and she is the person in that song.
She started off with "Come To The Supermarket in Old Peking" followed by the song she sang at 'cattle calls', when she started in the business cutting school to come into Manhattan, "Don't Rain On My Parade". After talking about the original "Hair" and not being kind to the revival, she did a song from the show. Next came a few stories about "Gypsy" and Arthur Laurents and how she saw Rose Havoc with her bringing the house down with "Everything is Coming Up Roses" going onto a number from "Woman On The Verge" which she feels was an extremely under-rated show and will be revived in the future to great success. "Stealing a song from Mandy Patinkin" she belted out a rousing "Trouble" from "The Music Man" then her signature song from "Evita" called "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" after explaining what a hard score that show was to sing and telling why. She finished with 2 songs from "Company" doing a very moving "Being Alone" and angry/funny "Ladies Who Lunch" ending with an explosion from the audience that I am sure was heard in Miami!
I have seen Patti LuPone on Tv--just recently on the "Girls"--but she started her stage career on Broadway in the 1970s, starring in "the Robber Bridegroom", after I had moved to Memphis and I had never seen her on stage until this show. I did see the televised version of "Company" but now wish I had seen it in person. Patti LuPone is a legend and she showed why at the Parker Playhouse Thursday night.
If you may only lmow her from televison may I recommend that you watch her videos on the Internet.