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Patti LuPone (born April 21, 1949) is an American singer and actress, perhaps best known for her Tony Award-winning performances as Eva Perón in the 1979 musical Evita, and Rose in "Gypsy", and in her Olivier Award-winning performance as Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables.

Personal life

LuPone was born in Northport, New Yorkmarker, on Long Islandmarker, the daughter of Angela Louise (née Patti), a college library administrator, and Orlando Joseph LuPone, a school administrator. Her great-grand-aunt was the celebrated 19th-century opera singer Adelina Patti. Her brother Robert LuPone is an actor, dancer, and director. Her other brother William LuPone is a teacher. When they were young, they performed on Long Island as the LuPone Trio. She is of Italian/Abrutian descent and a graduate of Northport High Schoolmarker, where she studied under the musical direction of voice coach Esther Scott. LuPone was part of the first graduating class of Juilliardmarker's Drama Division.

LuPone married Matthew Johnston on December 12, 1988 on the Vivian Beaumont Stage at Lincoln Center after filming the TV movie LBJ. They have one child, Joshua Luke Johnston (b. November 21, 1990). The family resides in Connecticutmarker.

Career

Theatre work

In 1972 John Houseman formed The Acting Company, a nationally touring repertory theater company. LuPone's stint with the Acting Company lasted from 1972 to 1976, and she was featured in such works as The Cradle Will Rock, The School for Scandal, Women Beware Women, The Beggar’s Opera (1973), The Time of Your Life, The Lower Depths, The Hostage, Next Time I’ll Sing to You, Measure for Measure, Scapin, Edward II, The Orchestra, Love’s Labours Lost, Arms and the Man, The Way of the World, and The Robber Bridegroom (1975), for which she received a Tony Award nomination. She made her Broadway debut in the play Three Sisters.

In 1976, producer David Merrick hired LuPone as a replacement to play Genevieve, the title role of the troubled pre-Broadway original production The Baker’s Wife. The production toured at length, but Merrick deemed it unworthy of Broadway and closed it out-of-town.

Since 1977, LuPone has been a frequent collaborator with David Mamet, appearing in his plays The Woods (1977), All Men Are Whores (1977), The Blue Hour (1978) The Water Engine (1978), Edmond (1982), and The Old Neighborhood (Broadway, 1997).

In 1978, she appeared in the Broadway musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's Working.

In 1979, LuPone achieved acclaim for her portrayal of Eva Peron in the American premiere of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Evita (1979), directed by Harold Prince. Her much-lauded performance earned LuPone a 1980 Tony Award for leading actress in a musical, among other honors.

In 1983, founding alumni of The Acting Company reunited for an Off-Broadway revival of Marc Blitzstein's landmark labor musical The Cradle Will Rock, narrated by their teacher, John Houseman, with LuPone in the roles of Moll and Sister Mister. The production premiered at The Acting Company's summer residence at Chautauqua Institutionmarker, toured the United States, including an engagement at the Highland Park, Illinoismarker' Ravinia Festival in 1984, and played London's West End, where LuPone received an 1985 Olivier Award.

In 1985, she created the part of Fantine in the Royal Shakespeare Company-Cameron Mackintosh production of the musical Les Misérables at the Barbican Theatre. In recognition of her Royal Shakespeare Company debut performance, LuPone was the first American actress to be presented with an Olivier Award. In 1987, LuPone returned to Broadway to star as Reno Sweeney in the hit Lincoln Center Theater revival of Anything Goes.

In 1993, LuPone returned to the West End of London to create the role of Norma Desmond in the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre.

In 1995, LuPone returned to Broadway in a one-woman show, Patti LuPone on Broadway, at the Walter Kerr Theatre. For her work, LuPone received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. In 1996, LuPone was selected by legendary producer Robert Whitehead to succeed his wife, the legendary Zoe Caldwell, in the Broadway production of Terrence McNally's play, Master Class. LuPone received rave reviews in New York and took the play to the West Endmarker.

In November 2001, she starred in a Broadwaymarker revival of Noises Off, with Peter Gallagher and Faith Prince. Ms. LuPone has performed New York concert productions of musicals as including the City Center Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert! Pal Joey (1995), with Peter Gallagher and Bebe Neuwirth; the Lincoln Center Theater benefit performance of Annie Get Your Gun (1998) with Peter Gallagher; the New York Philharmonic performances of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2000) with George Hearn and Audra McDonald; the Lincoln Center Theater benefit performance of Anything Goes with Howard McGillin; theEncores! Can-Can (2004) with Michael Nouri; the New York Philharmonic Candide (2004) with Kristin Chenoweth and Paul Groves, broadcast live on PBS Television Great Performances; and the Jazz at Lincoln Center "American Songbook" series Passion (2005), with Michael Cerveris and Audra McDonald, also broadcast live on Great Performances.

Since 2001, LuPone has been a regular presence at the Ravinia Festivalmarker. At Ravinia, she starred in a six-year-long series of concert presentations of Stephen Sondheim musicals begun in honor of his seventieth birthday.

In 2005, LuPone starred as Mrs. Lovett in John Doyle’s new Broadway staging of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2005). She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance; and won the Golden Icon Award for Best Female Musical Theater Performance, presented by Travolta Family Entertainment. In August 2006, Ms. LuPone took a three-week vacation from the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd in order to play Rose in Gypsy at the Ravinia Festival.

Following the Ravinia Gypsy, LuPone and author Arthur Laurents mended a decade-long rift and she was cast in the City Center Encores! Summer Stars production he directed. Laurents directed LuPone's version of Gypsy: A Musical Fable for a 22 performance run (July 9, 2007 - July 29, 2007) at City Center. This production of Gypsy then transferred to Broadway, which opened March 27, 2008 at the St. James Theatre. LuPone won the Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, Drama Desk Award, and Tony Award for her performance in Gypsy. It closed on January 11, 2009.

LuPone performs regularly across the country in her solo shows Matters of the Heart; Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda; and The Lady With the Torch which sold out at Carnegie Hallmarker.

In 2009, likely due to renewed interest in the musical Les Misérables caused by reality television contestant Susan Boyle, LuPone's 1985 recording of "I Dreamed a Dream" has reached the UK Singles Chart as well as the Billboard magazine Hot Digital Songs and Hot Singles Recurrents charts in the US.

She was the recipient of two Grammy Awards in 2009 in the categories of Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album for Kurt Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Film and television work

Among LuPone’s film credits are Witness, Just Looking, Law & Order, The Victim, Summer of Sam, Driving Miss Daisy, King of the Gypsies, 1941, Wise Guys, Nancy Savoca's 24 Hour Woman, Family Prayers, Bad Faith, and City by the Sea. She has also worked with playwright David Mamet on The Water Engine, the critically acclaimed State and Main, and Heist.

LuPone played Libby Thatcher on the television drama Life Goes On, which ran on ABC from 1989 to 1993. She has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award for the TV movie The Song Spinner, and her guest appearance on Frasier. LuPone’s TV career also includes a recurring spot on the last season of HBO’s hit series Oz. She had a cameo as herself on a 1998 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Kelsey Grammer. She also appeared on the series Ugly Betty in 2007 as the mother of Mark St. James (played by Michael Urie). She played Lady Bird Johnson in the TV movie, LBJ. Patti also appeared as herself on a 2005 episode of Will & Grace. Lupone guest-starred on an episode of 30 Rock which aired on March 5, 2009. .

Controversy

LuPone opposes recording, photographs, and other electronic distractions in live theatre. "Where's the elegance?", she asked in a blog post on her official site. "I mean, I'm glad they show up because God knows it's a dying art form and I guess I'm glad they're all comfortable, sleeping, eating and drinking, things they should be doing at home and in a restaurant. But it's just not done in the theatre or shouldn't be." LuPone has been the subject of some controversy due to the bluntness of her statements regarding this matter.

A related incident occurred at the second to last performance of Gypsy on January 10, 2009. Agitated at a man taking pictures with the use of flash, she stopped in the middle of "Rose's Turn" and loudly demanded that he be removed from the theatre. "You heard the warning in the beginning, you heard the warning at intermission! Who do you think you are?!" she yelled at him. After he was removed, LuPone restarted her number. The audience applauded her stance. The event was recorded by another audience member, who released it on YouTube. She later claimed that such distractions drive "people in the audience nuts. They can’t concentrate on the stage if, in their peripheral vision, they’re seeing texting, they’re seeing cameras, they’re listening to phone calls. How can we do our job if the audience is distracted?", and also mentioned that "the interesting thing is I’m not the first one that’s done it".

Reports say LuPone is at work on a memoir, recounting her life and career from childhood to the present, to be published in 2010.

Recordings

LuPone recorded a duet with Seth MacFarlane (in character as Glenn Quagmire) on the 2005 album Family Guy: Live In Vegas. LuPone released a new CD in 2006, of one of her shows The Lady with the Torch, on Sh-K-Boom Records. In December she released bonus tracks for that CD only available on iTunes and the Sh-K-Boom website.

Selected recordings include:
  • The Baker’s Wife (Original cast recording)
  • Evita (Original Broadway cast recording)
  • The Cradle Will Rock (The Acting Company recording)
  • Les Misérables (Original London Cast recording)
  • Anything Goes (New Broadway Cast Recording)
  • Heat Wave (John Mauceri conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra)
  • Patti LuPone Live (Solo Album)
  • Sunset Boulevard (World Premiere/Original London Cast Recording)
  • Matters of the Heart (Solo Album)
  • Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic recording)
  • Sweeney Todd (2005 Broadway Cast recording)
  • The Lady with the Torch (Solo Album)
  • The Lady With the Torch...Still Burning (Solo Album)
  • To Hell and Back (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra World Premier recording)
  • Gypsy (2008 Broadway Revival Cast Recording)
  • Patti Lupone At Les Mouches (Live Solo Recording)


References

  1. UK Singles Chart info Chartstats.com. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  2. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/125486.html
  3. http://www.playbill.com/news/article/126929.html
  4. http://www.pattilupone.net/ramblings52.html
  5. Gypsy - Rose Lee Photographs (Patti's Rant)
  6. http://voices.kansascity.com/node/3402
  7. Patti LuPone stops 'Gypsy' mid-show to yell at a photographer - YouTube video
  8. http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=14867

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