Broadway Paid Tribute to Patti LuPone in Song at Patti's Turn; Plus Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's "You're the Top" Lyrics

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13 Mar 2012

Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
Photo by Ethan Hill

The Acting Company saluted Tony and Olivier winner Patti LuPone (Evita, Anything Goes, Gypsy, Master Class, Les Miserables, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), a founding member and board director of the classical repertory Company, March 12 at The Kaye Playhouse with an evening titled Patti's Turn, which featured a mix of songs and stories.

The evening boasted the talents of two other Acting Company founding members, Kevin Kline and David Schramm, as well as Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Harvey Fierstein, Zoe Caldwell, Laura Benanti, Boyd Gaines, Melissa Errico, Howard McGillin, Anthony Dean Griffey, Manoel Feliciano, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

The repertoire for the tribute, according to an Acting Company spokesperson, follows:

MANOEL FELCIANO: "NOT WHILE I'M AROUND"
MELISSA ERICO: "AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME"
BOYD GAINES "I LIKE YOU"
LAURA BENANTI: "THE STEPS OF THE PALACE"
ANTHONY DEAN GRIFFEY: "A SIMPLE SONG"
HOWARD McGILLIN: "IT'S DE LOVELY"
SUTTON FOSTER: "ANYONE CAN WHISTLE/BEING ALIVE"
SCOTT WITTMAN AND MARC SHAIMAN: "YOU'RE THE TOP"
ANTHONY DEAN GRIFFEY: "THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE"
KRISTIN CHENOWETH: "GLITTER AND BE GAY" AND “TILL THERE WAS YOU”
HARVEY FIERSTEIN: "LITTLE LAMB"
KEVIN KLINE: "TRY TO REMEMBER"
PATTI LuPONE: "SEPTEMBER SONG"

Tony winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, "Smash") furnished Cole Porter's "You're the Top" with new lyrics to honor their friend LuPone. Their witty tribute follows:



MARC Patti, we wrote something for you last year when you were honored by THE DRAMA LEAGUE.

SCOTT We wanted to find the time to write you something new for tonight, but that idea was SMASHED by SMASH where we have had to write over 200 songs...

MARC...since lunch.

SCOTT But we did come up with a new intro!

(sung to the tune of "YOU'RE THE TOP")

AT WORDS PROLIFIC
WE'RE QUITE TERRIFIC
SO WHEN PATTI WAS FÊTED LAST
WE GOT OUR PAPER AND PEN OUT FAST
WE WERE SO GASSED
WE'D BEEN ASKED

BUT NOW THIS SEASON
WE TWO ARE WHEEZING
MAKING TV'S LIKE MAKING WAR

SO WITH YOUR PERMISSION
THIS YEAR'S EDITION
WILL BE THE SAME WORDS WE SANG BEFORE

YOU'RE THE TOP
YOU'RE THE STAR OF GYPSY
YOU'RE THE TOP
EVEN WHEN YOU'RE TIPSY

YOU'RE A JUILL'ARD GRAD
WHO HAS LED A LAD OR TWO
YOU ARE PART VAUDEVILLIAN
YOU'RE PART SICILIAN
YOU'RE 10% JEW
(on your accountant's side)

YOU'RE THE TOP
YOU ARE RENO SWEENEY
YOU'RE THE TOP
YOU MAKE A MEAN LINGUINI

WE'RE A DESPERATE TWO
WE'RE JUST LOWLIFES WHO SHOULD STOP
BUT IF PATTI WE'RE THE BOTTOM
YOU'RE THE TOP

YOU'RE A TOOL
THAT THE STAGE WAS MADE FOR
YOU'RE THE POOL
THAT LLOYD WEBBER PAID FOR

YOU'RE A DIVA WHO
THE WHOLE WORLD LOVES TO APPLAUD
IN THE WORDS OF MAMET
SHIT, FUCK, GODDAMMIT
YOU'RE QUITE A BROAD!
YOUR NAME'S FLARED
HIGH ON BROADWAY BANNERS
YOU'RE NOT SCARED
TO TEACH AUDIENCE MANNERS

WE WRITE BROADWAY SHOWS
WE SHOULD QUIT AND CLOSE UP SHOP
BUT IF PATTI WE'RE THE BOTTOM
YOU'RE THE TOP!

YOU'RE THE SPARK
THAT LIT UP "EVITA"
IN THE DARK
YOU COULD PLAY "LOLITA"

IT'S ST. PATTI'S DAY
WHEN YOU CLICK BROADWAY DOT COM
YOU'RE A FRENCH CAN-CAN
YOU'RE A HOCKEY FAN
YOU'RE JOSH'S MOM

YOU'RE "FANTINE"
YOU GOT BROADWAY VOODOO
EVERY QUEEN
WANTS TO SING LIKE YOU DO

MARC'S A WORTHLESS HACK
SCOTT MIGHT JUST BRING BACK "THE FOP"
BUT IF PATTI WE'RE THE BOTTOM
BUT IF PATTI WE'RE THE BOTTOM
BUT IF PATTI WE'RE THE BOTTOM
YOU'RE THE TOP! 

"Patti was with us in the beginning," stated Margot Harley, The Acting Company's producing artistic director, "and has never really left. She toured for our first four seasons and has continued to entertain for us, raise money for us and serves on our board of directors. Patti is a beloved member of The Acting Company family and we are proud to salute her and her extraordinary career. Will Patti sing for her supper? Yes!"

The Acting Company, the Tony Award-winning touring classical repertory Company, recently began its 39th national tour at the Guthrie Theater and will play New York's Baruch Performing Arts Center in April presenting Julius Caesar, a new production directed by Rob Melrose of San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater, and The Comedy of Errors, directed by Ian Belknap.

Founded by John Houseman and Margot Harley in 1972, The Acting Company has brought classical and new works to under-served communities and into disadvantaged schools in 49 states and 10 foreign countries earning a Tony for Excellence in Theater, Obies, Audelcos and Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards.