Patti Lupone - The Lady With a Torch

Looking much like a school teacher from the 60's in a tailored white blouse and black flowing skirt complete with wrist high white gloves, this compact lady delivered a no-nonsense evening of torch carrying tunes. In this tour-de-force show, Ms. Lupone announced that she is indeed carrying a torch, but one that takes on several meanings. As she describes, "torch, as in short for torture, or torch as in something you believe in, or torch as in a means to light your way."

The songs are about love- love lost, remembered, regained, revenged, and loving yourself. The mix of material include tunes that are gentle, somber, sultry, funny and fiesty but most of all, are delivered with a heart-on-her sleeves, 'whadda think about that?,' attitude.

Born on April 21, 1949 in Northport, Long Island, Patti is a Juillard trained actress who has been giving 110% of herself in every role. From her early days in 1975 with The Robber Bridegroom (which earned her a Tony and Drama Desk nomination) through her 1980 Tony and Drama Desk winning performance in Evita, Patti has never held anything back while expressing herself.

Her musical numbers in the "torch" concert consist of some wonderful story tunes including a powerhouse version of "Frankie & Johnnie" and a sexy little Billy Barnes number called "Something Cool" — the tale of a chance meeting in a bar. There are also a few soft, poignant mood makers namely "A Cottage For Sale" by Willard Robinson/Larry Conley and a fine medley arrangement of "Miss Lonleyhearts/My Buddy," which show Patti's vulnerable side. Lupone's best side though is presented with her playful, roudy versions of "Who's Sorry Now?" dedicated to her grandmother who sang this one over her dead husband's body (or so Patti claims). Also two lesser known tunes, "Everything Happens to Me" ( Matt Dennis/Tom Adair) and "I Regret Everything" by Bill Burnett/Peggy Sarlen.

Patti is the first to tell everyone that actors who work, live in dressing rooms, theaters and hotels for most of their careers. She, however, has found her way into the country life in a lovely, large, log house spread on 26 acres of rocky soil and woods in Connecticut. Patti relishes her solitude with her husband Matthew Johnston and son Josh. You've heard of the house that Jack built? Well, this is the house that Broadway built. "Evita bought the land, Anything Goes bought the house and Sunset Boulevard stocked the pond, dug the pool and started the farm. Yes, I'm a chicken farmer who happens to sing."

Like a handful of stages' most glorious voices, Patti debuted her "Lady With A Torch" concert at Carnegie Hall in March of 2005 and her reactions were simply "What a show, what a hall, what a band." It's currently unconfirmed, but anticipated that Patti will soon recreate her role of Mrs. Lovett in the Broadway bound Sweeney Todd which will open at the O'Neill theater on November 3, 2005 with Michael Cerveris playing the razor wielding, singing, murdering barber. Lupone fondly recalls her meat pies days in the 2000 production with George Hearn as "the proudest moment of her career."

Lady With A Torch does not include the most notable or familiar songs, and Patti pointedly presents her show in two acts. "This is act two because I'm not done yet."

Few singers could pull off these songs that might be best appreciated in a small cabaret setting. Patti LuPone breathes magic into these numbers as she caresses every note and simply sells each tune with her gutsy attitude and smirky smile that lights up the house and commands the evening.

Song List:

By Myself, I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, Something Cool, A Cottage For Sale, I Had A Little Sorrow, Ill Wind, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, A Man In A Raincoat, I Wanna Be Around, Who's Sorry Now?, Frankie And Johnnie, The Other Woman, The Man I Love, Nightlife, Make It Another Old Fashion, Please, Me And My Shadow, Find Me A Primitive Man, Do It Again, Early Autumn, Everything Happens To Me, I'm Through With Love, So In Love, Miss Lonleyhearts/My Buddy, I Regret Everything, C'EST Magnifique, I Love Paris, Body And Soul.

Patti LuPone "The Lady With The Torch" played at the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center, Marlton, NJ on June 25 & 26.

For  Lenape PAC tickets and information: visit www.sjtheater.com or call 856.983.3366

Visit Patti's website: www.pattilupone.net

Photo credits: Anna Thompson & Lenape Press Rep.

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Pati Buehler Pati has been involved with various aspects of the theater from hosting large groups to Broadway shows in the early 90's to supporting various Broadway artists for charities such as the "Make A Wish Foundation", The Leukemia Society, and Gilda's Club, programs supporting fighting ovarian cancer. New York's Jane Ellisa's Shining Star Award for the Leukemia Society. In 2001, she began writing for various theater-based web sites from www.talkinbroadway.com, www.broadwayworld.com, and www.philly2philly.com.

Her passion is Arts and Education and Fundraising for Non Profit Organizations. In 2002 she teamed up with Broadway star Craig Schulman (Les Miserables/Phantom/Jekyll & Hyde) to put together a traveling Broadway in your school Workshop/Master Class program that has thrilled young artists and theater groups across the country.

She began producing live concert events as PB Entertainment in 2003 at various venues. From 2004-2006 she produced two seasons of professional events for Eastern High School Performing Arts Center, Voorhees, NJ including Neil Berg's "100 Years of Broadway", two Rockin' Oldies events, a Broadway cast Jazz Show and the Southern New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Australian world class violinist Martin Lass and more. In 2013 Pati produced “Broadway Sings For Newtown” bringing 6 Broadway artists together to perform for the Newtown Conn. Community to benefit the “Healing Arts Foundation” and honoring all the families involved in the Sandy Hook School tragedy.

Venue Affiliations: Theater Reviews: Forrest Theater, Merriam Theater, Walnut Street Theater, The Academy of Music, The Kimmel Center, Peter Nero & the Philly Pops, Media Theater, Lenape Regional PAC, The Arden Theater, The Prince Music Theater, The Paper Mill Playhouse, The Bristol Riverside Theater, Commerce Bank Arts Center, Surflight Theater, Society Hill Playhouse, Philadelphia Theater Company and more.

Events Producer: Ritz Theater Company, Ocean City Music Pier, Collingswood Foundation For the Arts , Stafford Township Performing Arts Center, Mainstage Center for the Performing Arts , Eastern Center For the Performing Arts, Newtown Conn. Arts Festival.

Pati owns and manages PB Entertainment LLC. www.pbentertainment.com and is a director for a private fundraising company Fundagroup. www.fundagroup.com


 
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