Review Roundup: AN EVENING WITH PATTI LUPONE AND MANDY PATINKIN - All the Reviews!
Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin reunite on Broadway for AN EVENING WITH Patti LuPone AND Mandy Patinkin. Two Broadway legends who first appeared together giving Tony Award winning performances in Evita, are bringing their critically acclaimed theatre concert to the Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) for 63 performances through Friday, January 13. Opening night is tonight - November 21.
Much more than a concert, AN EVENING WITH Patti LuPone AND Mandy Patinkin is described as a funny, passionate, intimate and unique musical love story told entirely through a masterful selection of some of the greatest songs ever written for the stage. Have the two once again earned critical acclaim on the Broadway stage? Find out now!
Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: Watching these two inimitable talents reel through an eclectic program of theater songs is a bit like riding one of those wonderful old wooden roller coasters at a seaside resort. One minute you’re levitating with exhilaration, the next you’re clinging to your seat for dear life, terrified that disaster is imminent. I am glad to report that the exhilaration far outweighs the intimations of peril.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: As generic as its title suggests, An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin coasts along on the two performers’ relaxed humor and genuine fondness for each other. But it rarely goes anyplace personal or revelatory...For musical-theater nuts, hearing these two veterans sing will never be a chore. But here, disappointingly, it’s also no great reward.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: That's how a concert can be both intimate and goofy, touching and confident...The last song listed is "You'll Never Walk Alone" from "Carousel," but don't get up just yet. LuPone and Patinkin aren't done, so expect an encore or two. Any why not? When you're this good, this strong, this playful, a few extra songs is a pleasure to perform and hear.
Michael Musto, Village Voice: Their evening strips classic musical theater down to the human element, allowing them to dabble in a couple of their showstoppers (particularly in Act Two), but more often to engage in some lovely interacting by digging into the meat of the music, stripped of the traditional flash and eagerness to please.
Steven Suskin, Variety: "Old folks sit around by the television set, sighing one perpetual sigh," according to Kander and Ebb's song "Old Folks," which opens the second act of "An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin." LuPone and Patinkin are certainly not old folks, except perhaps to theatergoers in their teens or 20s, and they are still vibrant performers. But the atmosphere of "old folks" -- and a nostalgic, sit-around-with-friends-in-the-living-room feeling -- permeates the affair. Pleasant and sweet are not words you might ordinarily associate with these two, but their Broadway concert is both.
Matt Windman, amNY: Neither has lost any vocal power whatsoever. The problem lies in this production's really weird execution. As directed by Patinkin himself, this is a thoroughly austere and - except for a few silly bits - humorless concert. Accompanied by just a piano and bass, they tear through a large and varied stack of Broadway songs with barely any pauses or chitchat with the audience.
Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly: With a combined 74 years of Broadway experience and more than a dozen main-stem musicals under their belts, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin could probably put together a bang-up concert built entirely on their greatest hits...There's none of that fake banter or forced audience interplay that typifies (and drags down) concerts like these. It's just two hours of good old-fashioned musical theater.
Linda Winer, Newsday: Patinkin, who co-created the show with his invaluable pianist Paul Ford and also directs, genuinely seems to adore showing LuPone off. They joke through a sweet ballet on rolling desk chairs. The show starts with Sondheim's "Another Hundred People," about New York being "a city of strangers." Not at the Barrymore it isn't.
Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg: Another musical revue has landed on Broadway this season, though “An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin” could use an infusion of Hugh Jackman’s energy and pizzazz. Patinkin and LuPone may be Broadway royalty, but “An Evening” is a torpid affair.
Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: The two-hour musical mosaic loosely traces a couple’s relationship from first love to maturity and back. It is bookended by extended Rodgers and Hammerstein scenes — sunlit moments from “South Pacific” and moonlit ones from “Carousel.” In between the stars cover many songs from the Stephen Sondheim catalogue, including “Into the Woods,” “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Company.”
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: The pair certainly isn’t going for razzmatazz. David Korins’ bare set consists of several ghost lights, creating an effect that’s subtle and evocative rather than flashy. Backed only by pianist/music director Paul Ford and bassist John Beal, LuPone and Patinkin skip the shows they’re famous for: “Anything Goes,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Les Misérables” for her; “Sunday in the Park With George” for him.
Jesse Oxfelv, NY Observer: One note: a distraction from that joy on the night we attended was a cell phone that went off during the final, quiet, climatic moments of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” its ringtone set to that old-fashioned, Ma Bell rrriiinnnggg. Ms. LuPone once suggested, famously and angrily, that we have lost our public manners. That she did not stop this show to throttle the offender suggests she was right, and that the phones have won. It’s enough to make you cry.
David Sheward, Backstage: Like peanut butter and jelly, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin are two great tastes that taste great together. Each is a one-of-a-kind talent: Patinkin with his extraordinary range and eccentric delivery that can switch from a delicate falsetto to an earth-rumbling bass without missing a beat, and LuPone with her powerful pipes, steamroller personality, and unique voice capable of approximating an entire brass section from trumpet to alto sax. When these two nonpareils combine, as they do in their concert at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, simply titled "An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin," you get not only a delicious theatrical sandwich, but also dramatic magic.