Patti LuPone Shines in Personal Musical Journey at Carnegie Hall | Playbill

Cabaret & Concert News Patti LuPone Shines in Personal Musical Journey at Carnegie Hall

The three-time Tony winner dazzled the sold-out crowd with her newest concert evening, A Life in Notes.

Patti LuPone at Carnegie Hall Chris Lee

There is something magical that often happens when a great artist steps upon the stage of Carnegie Hall: an exchange between the performer and the audience that is deeply moving for both. It is an opportunity to shower the artist with loving applause, demonstrating how much she means to everyone who has assembled in the famed Manhattan venue and a chance for the performer to acknowledge that she is equally appreciative of those who have supported her in a decades-long career.

Such was the case April 8 as three-time Tony winner Patti LuPone took the Carnegie stage for her fifth solo concert. Looking (and sounding) as terrific as ever, the Broadway favorite was greeted with a thunderous, lengthy applause before she began her powerful musical journey with the Leon Russell classic "A Song for You."

Northport, Long Island, native LuPone explained that her newest concert act, A Life in Notes—directed by Tony winner Scott Wittman and written by Jeffrey Richman—utilizes a varied group of songs to explore her life growing up in America, songs that made an impact and those that recall important moments in her life. Accompanied by musical director and arranger Joseph Thalken on piano and Brad Phillips on "every other instrument," early offerings included "Come on-a My House," "Summertime, Summertime," "Ebb Tide," a swinging "We Kiss in a Shadow," "Teen Angel," and a particularly effective "Town Without Pity."

But it was when LuPone stood centerstage at the microphone to deliver the little-heard Marc Blitzstein gem "I Wish It So" that the actress and singer fully joined forces for a beautifully touching reading of the Juno ballad. LuPone and the handful of other singing actors whose work this writer has admired for decades are masters of stillness, bringing songs to full life with an inner well of emotions that seep out in unexpected and heartbreaking moments. 

Other highlights of the evening's first act included LuPone's Gypsy showstopper "Some People," the Burt Bacharach-Hal David classic "Alfie," an emotional reading of Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin's Judy Garland standard "The Man That Got Away," and a sensational take on "Those Were the Days" that preceded intermission

Patti LuPone at Carnegie Hall Chris Lee

If the first act allowed LuPone to demonstrate that she can score with any musical style, it was the second act that particularly enthralled her theatre fans. Opening with "On Broadway" and dressed to the nines in an Oscar de la Renta silvery gown, LuPone segued into a new arrangement of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" with sole guitar accompaniment by Phillips.

Over 40 years after she won her first Tony for creating the role of Eva Peron in the original Broadway cast of Evita, LuPone's delivery of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice hit remains as vibrant, deeply felt, and vocally rich as ever. And, that was only the beginning of a triumvirate of theatre songs that would bring the audience to its feet. In fact, as the musicians began to play the introduction to "I Dreamed a Dream," I overheard two young men seated nearby exclaim, "Oh my God!"—their enthusiasm was so genuine and spontaneous that it moved me and reminded me of this once-sixth-grader counting down the days to see LuPone in the original production of Evita and then thinking of nothing else for months to follow (that formula subsequently repeated for Anything Goes, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard, Patti LuPone on Broadway, etc.)

LuPone pierced the heart with her "I Dreamed a Dream," and just as this concertgoer was thinking she hits the low notes of the song like no other ("tigers come at night" and "tear your hope apart"), she scaled the heights of "turn your dreams to shaaaame" with such power that it drew applause from the audience mid-song. LuPone then stunned with her roof-raising "The Ladies Who Lunch," demonstrating why she won her third Tony for her performance as Joanne in the recent, Tony-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company.

The masterful singing actor also scored with Janis Ian's open-hearted show-business anthem "Stars"; an unexpected pairing of two Cole Porter classics, "Anything Goes" and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," the latter serving as a moving tribute to those friends lost to AIDS; and a trio of songs about love and the passage of time—"I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "Time After Time," and "Make You Feel My Love"—that she dedicated to her husband and son.

LuPone drew laughs with Leiber and Stoller's "Ready to Begin Again" and concluded her evening with a rousing version of Bob Dylan "Forever Young," joined by the Young People's Chorus of New York City and Somebody Somewhere star Bridget Everett. The dual belting of LuPone and Everett, backed by the vibrant chorus, was, simply, thrilling.

The Beatles classic "In My Life" and a reprise of "Those Were the Days" served as a fitting encore to the evening. April 8, of course, was also marked by the much-in-the-news solar eclipse, and though the sun and moon will ultimately outlive us all, the night firmly belonged to the unique artist who is Patti LuPone.

The complete set list for A Life in Notes follows:

Act One
1. "A Song for You" (Leon Russell)
2. "Come on-a My House" (Ross Bagdasarian/William Saroyan)
3. "Summertime, Summertime" (Tom Jameson/Sherm Feller)
4. "Ebb Tide" (Carl Sigman/Robert Maxwell)
5. "We Kiss in a Shadow" (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II)
6. "Teen Angel" (Jean Surrey)
7. "Town Without Pity" (Dimitri Tiomkin/Ned Washington)
8. "I Wish It So" (Marc Blitzstein)
9. "Some People" (Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim)
10. "Lilac Wine" (James Shelton)
11. "Alfie" (Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
12. "Saratoga Summer Song" (Kate McGarrigle)
13. "The Man That Got Away" (Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin)
14. 'Those Were the Days" (Gene Raskin)

Act Two
1. "On Broadway" (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Mike Stoller/Jerry Leiber)
2. "Don’t Cry for Me Argentina" (Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice)
3. "I Dreamed a Dream" (Claude-Michel Schönberg/Alain Boublil/Herbert Kretzmer)
4. "Ladies Who Lunch" (Stephen Sondheim)
5. "Stars" (Janis Ian)
6. "Anything Goes" (Cole Porter and "Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye" (Cole Porter)
7. "I Didn’t Know What Time it Was" (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) and "Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper/Robert Hyman)
8. "Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan)
9. "Ready to Begin Again" (Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller)
10. "Forever Young" (Bob Dylan)

Encore: "In My Life" (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) and "Those Were the Days (Reprise)"

For those unable to attend the Carnegie Hall performance, LuPone is scheduled to bring her new concert to cities around the world. The current itinerary follows:

April 12 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California
April 14 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, California
April 16 at the Virginia Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center in Scottsdale, Arizona
April 20 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California
May 12 at the Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan
May 17 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C.
October 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
June 19-28 Multi-city tour of Australia

Check out photos from the Carnegie Hall performance below:

Photos: Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes at Carnegie Hall

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!