UPDATED! Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin Will Bring An Evening to Broadway in November
By Andrew Gans
Think of it as a new waltz for "Che" and "Eva." Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin will bring their acclaimed concert act to Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre this fall.
The producer confirmed late in the day Aug. 1 that, as first reported by the Associated Press, the former Evita co-stars will begin performances at the Broadway venue Nov. 16. The 63-performance engagement will officially open Nov. 21. The engagement will end Jan. 13, 2012. Ticket information will be announced soon.
An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, according to previous press notes, "reunites these Tony Award-winning virtuosos (and lifelong friends) for the first time since Evita. Much more than a concert, this is a unique musical love story told entirely through a masterful selection of the greatest songs ever written for the stage. Funny, passionate, intimate and utterly unforgettable, this is An Evening no fan of musical theatre — or of these two acclaimed performers — can afford to miss."
Musical director Paul Ford has been featured on piano for all of the previous concert engagements; he'll also play Broadway. Production design is by David Korins, lighting design is by Eric Cornwell, sound design is by Daniel Gerhard. Staci Levine produces.
About the genesis of An Evening, LuPone previously told Playbill.com, "There was a booker in Richardson, Texas — they were opening a brand-new performing arts center — who called my agent at ICM Artists and said, 'I got Mandy, how about Patti?' and then called Mandy's agent and said, 'I have Patti, how about Mandy?' And he put us together after 25 years. So I got a call from Mandy, who said, 'I don't want to just do, You sing a song and I sing a song, and then we do a duet.' I was doing Noises Off at the time, and I said, 'Mandy I can't partake in the development of this.' He said, 'I'll do it. I want to do it.' I said, 'Great, do it.' And we did it, and then we didn't do it for five years. And then all of a sudden it happened again. I guess the idea of Mandy and me being onstage together again is generating enough excitement that we're getting booked all over the place."
The concert, which was conceived by Patinkin and musical director-pianist Ford, also features direction by Patinkin and musical staging consulting by Ann Reinking. LuPone says she loves working with Patinkin: "Mandy was my ballast in Evita. Mandy kept me together. I went through a really, really, really rough time in Evita, and Mandy was my support, my shoulder, my hug, my ballast. I adore him, and so I adore working with him onstage. He's dangerous onstage, and I love the fact that he's dangerous, and yet we're safe in each other's arms."
For her performance as Rose in the recent revival of Gypsy at the St. James Theatre, Patti LuPone won the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award. A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Les Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Company, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and a Tony nomination for her performance in the recent revival of that Sondheim work. She was seen in the Kennedy Center's staging of Marc Blitzstein's Regina and joined Audra McDonald for Los Angeles Opera's production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She was also seen as Rose in a Ravinia Festival concert run of Gypsy. Her screen and recording credits are numerous.
Mandy Patinkin won a Tony Award for his role as Che in the Broadway mounting of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita. His theatrical work includes roles in Compulsion, The Wild Party, Sunday in the Park with George, The Secret Garden and The Knife. An Emmy Award winner for his work on "Chicago Hope," his other screen credits include "Criminal Minds," "Yentl," "Ragtime," "Dick Tracy," "Broken Glass," "Life with Mikey" and "The Princess Bride." Patinkin's latest solo recording, "Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim," is available on the Nonesuch label.
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