Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin Together Again: My Review

Categories: Theater

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In his own revue currently on Broadway, the charming Hugh Jackman sings a snippet of "I Won't Dance," backed by a full orchestra, dancing girls, and a slide show.

In An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, Broadway vets Patti and Mandy do the same song conversationally and intimately, sitting on wooden chairs, with only a two-piece orchestra and some ghostlights behind them.

Their evening strips classic musical theater down to the human element, allowing Patti and Mandy to dabble in a couple of their showstoppers (particularly in Act Two), but more often to engage in some lovely interacting by digging into the meat of the music, stripped of the traditional flash and eagerness to please.

In Act One, they perform a Sondheim/Rodgers & Hammerstein song cycle complete with some dialogue from the original shows that mirrors a romance (leading up to Patti's terrifically funny "Getting Married Today"), then swinging back to one of the South Pacific songs.

It's a very clever and sophisticated way to present show tunes -- certainly better than just standing there and saying, "This next number ..."

These two are not here to tell cute stories or deliver wacky punchlines.

Only once does Mandy speak to us as himself, remembering how he agreed to do Evita in 1979 when he found out Patti, who was in a show he had ushered for, was in it.

After praising her talent -- and "tits" -- he then scores with that show's raging "Oh What a Circus," and of course Patti follows that with a flawlessly acted "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" with arms raised high.

(On Friday night, an audience member's cell phone went off at the climax, but she kept her cool and didn't scream, "Who do you think you are?" even as Evita.)

There are occasionally clunky moments and a slightly too long Carousel segment, but the highs are intoxicating and you're in the hands of great actor/singers who meld with sensitivity, humor, and the kind of radiant theatrical charisma that can't be taught.

Still, young hopefuls are advised to see this show and try to learn it!



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11 comments
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Sandi
Sandi

I was there that night. Of all the songs for the phone to ring! Wonderful show

Robert Seth Vorisek
Robert Seth Vorisek

I'd give my left nut to see these two on one stage together again! EVITA was transformative for me, I'm sure this would be as well. But, I don't think they're taking the dog and pony version out to the sticks of Seattle....sigh....

alaker123
alaker123

Keep the faith!  I saw this show in Cleveland last year, was fortunate enough to get second row seats.  My first thought was that I couldn't believe they were coming to Cleveland, my second was I couldn't believe my luck.  At any rate, it was pure joy.  The only drawback (if you could call it that) was that Mandy spits a lot - he laid a loogie on my niece's face.  Priceless.

Keating3232
Keating3232

God, Michael, it's so depressing that you think that this show was anything other than lazy. Patti and Mandy have almost zero chemistry (friends, not lovers), which made the first act dull dull dull.  The second half was a little better, but still anyone who's thinking of paying top dollar to see this thing (with only a piano and bass accompaniment: rip-off!), would be better off spending the sum on two or three evenings watching talented young nightclub performers do the same material -- better!

Stick
Stick

Please name these young nightclub performers who are better than Patti and Mandy!!

Keating3232
Keating3232

Almost any young singer good enough to get regular bookings is bound to have a voice less worn and stretched and nasal than Mandy's and less honky and warmer than Patti's.  I like them both, but age has done its damage, and no amount of star-power can disguise that.  But if star-power is the main thing you care about, then by all means go see them.  

Marcus
Marcus

It's not just star power, it's presence, experience, texture, and so much more. If ay young singers had all that plus tip-top voices, they'd be big stars right now.

Nonplussed
Nonplussed

Grown-ups doing grown-up things. Lovely.

Abel
Abel

I have no hope of actually seeing this, as I live in Texas and don't travel much anymore.  So I sure do hope this is recorded or, preferably, filmed for commercial release.  Anyone know if that will happen?

Marva
Marva

Well, it's not a great hits show. They just sing showtunes they like. Sounds lovely.

Estrogen
Estrogen

I love Patti and will definitely see this even though she doesn't sing anything from Sweeney Todd or Anything Goes.

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