Even a two-time Tony winner like Patti LuPone can struggle with a performance note. Check out the star, currently playing Joanne in the recently opened Company on Broadway, talking on Late Night With Seth Meyers above, about the time the late Stephen Sondheim gave her a note that left her “destroyed.”
The event came about while she was preparing to play Fosca in Passion at Lincoln Center. “I didn’t understand it,” said LuPone. “All I heard was ‘monotonous marsh.’ I also thought if there was anybody with less experience than me, they would’ve turned in their Equity card.”
Despite the initial hurt and confusion, LuPone was able to figure out what the lyricist-composer was trying to say. Mr. Sondheim, who passed away in November, said the difference was “night and day” after the next performance. They weren’t always bad notes, either. The Evita and Gypsy performer has a note from Mr. Sondheim hanging with pride in her dressing room about her performance in Company.
READ: Everybody Rise!: Remembering Stephen Sondheim
During the interview, LuPone discussed the loss many performers felt during the coronavirus shutdown—from having no live audiences to wondering if they’d ever be on stage again. Plus, she shares the origin story of those famed pandemic basement videos.