For all his success in television dramedy ("Chicago Hope"), Webber-Rice (Evita) and Yiddish song (Mamaloshen), actor-singer Mandy Patinkin is still most closely associated with Stephen Sondheim, stemming mainly from his performance opposite Bernadette Peters in the Pulitzer-winning Sunday in the Park with George.
Though his latest tour was conceived to promote his children's album, "Kidults," Patinkin hasn't strayed far from his muse and will do a two week concert stint of (mostly) Sondheim songs at Philadelphia's Prince Music Theatre, Feb. 12-24, 2002. He'll also bring "Celebrating Sondheim" to the Kennedy Center in June as part of the Sondheim Festival there. A Broadway or Off-Broadway mounting is not out of the question either, according to a Sondheim spokesperson at Douger Theatricals, which manages the performer's concert tours. In fact, the Philadelphia stint, though a full concert, is seen as a kind of "work-through" for the piece's future life.
Even though he's still technically on the "Kidults" tour, Patinkin is already opening and closing his concerts with material from the Sondheim evening, as well as including other material. The Sondheim rep noted that the Sondheim concert won't repeat material from Patinkin's "Oscar and Steve" CD (which featured compositions penned, separately, by Sondheim and Oscar Hammerstein II). It will, however, feature songs from Sunday in the Park and Follies.
Remaining tour dates before the Philly and DC gigs include:
Dec. 30-31: The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Jan. 2,2002: Marin Auditorium, San Rafael, CA
Jan. 4: Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
Jan. 6: Artemus Ham Concert Hall, Las Vegas, NV
Jan. 28: Weidner Center, Green Bay, WI
Jan. 30: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, FL
Jan. 14-20: Colonial Theater, Boston, MA
Feb. 1: Florida Theater, Jacksonville, FL
Feb. 3: Mann Performing Arts Center, Fort Meyers, FL
Feb. 5: Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota, FL
Feb. 9-10: Lyric Opera House, Baltimore, MD
* After his 1999-2000 return to Broadway in The Wild Party, the Tony Award-winning Evita star made a Broadway stop to sing pop standards and show tunes, including pieces from his recent CD, "Kidults," Sept. 10 at the Neil Simon Theatre. His one-night only Broadway appearance kicked off the latest tour, which is sponsored by Dodger Theatrical Productions, Inc. Paul Ford is on piano.
A three-time Tony nominee, Patinkin has starred in the musicals The Wild Party, Sunday in the Park With George, The Secret Garden and Falsettos. He won his Best Featured Actor (Musical) Tony playing Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita, in 1980. Prior to Party, his most recent Broadway appearance was in his concert of Yiddish songs titled Mamaloshen (the CD shares that title). He is also known for TV's "Chicago Hope" and the film comedy, "The Princess Bride" and Barbra Streisand's "Yentl."
Patinkin got in touch with his inner child Sept. 4 with the release of his sixth solo album of eclectic songs, "Kidults," which offers family-friendly songs from "The Wizard of Oz," Frank Loesser's "Hans Christian Andersen," Broadway and the pop world.
On the disc, Patinkin is characteristically both delicate and extreme as he charts an emotional path that runs from innocence ("School Days," Maury Yeston's "New Words," "Getting to Know You") to experience (Sondheim's "Everybody Says Don't," "Nothing's Gonna Harm You") to playfulness ("Rhode Island Is Famous for You," "'A' You're Adorable," "Singin' in the Bathtub").
His frantic version of "A Tisket a Tasket," a favorite in his stage concerts, is preserved on CD. It's performed as a crime-scene interrogation.
The album is on the Nonsesuch label. Eric Stern conducts the orchestra. Musical arrangements are by Ford. Guest artist Kristin Chenoweth sings "Soon It's Gonna Rain," the "School Days" medley and "How Could You Believe Me?" (the classic song by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, with a title that continues, "when I said I love you when you know I've been a liar all my life?"). Tommy Krasker is the album's producer.
The 16 tracks include "Inchworm," "Time in a Bottle," "Minute Waltz," "The Ugly Duckling," "Japanese Sandman," "April in Fairbanks," "Holiday for Strings," "The King's New Clothes," "Cat's in the Cradle," "Singin' in the Rain" and "If I Only Had a Brain." The CD liner notes offer this dedication from Patinkin: "For my grandchildren."