Patti LuPone Speaks Her Mind: 'Cheap' Standing Ovations, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Uma Thurman, and More
Double Tony and Grammy Award winner Patti LuPone has proven time and time again that she is willing to speak her mind about anything -- and this week is no different.
At the launch of the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, LuPone addressed a variety of topics with honesty.
First, she criticized the casting of Hollywood stars on Broadway. In doing so, she employed Uma Thurman's performance in Parisian Woman as an example, which received generally unenthused reviews. LuPone took this a step further, according to iNews, saying, "I don't necessarily need to see film actors on stage, because they can't. Not in my country they can't. Can I just say, Uma Thurman in The Parisian Woman, anybody see it? Holy shit! I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
LuPone then added, "I'm not sure there is a stigma any more [about Hollywood actors cast on Broadway], perhaps there should be. You want those people to come to the stage for the right reason and that is to honor the stage, honor the theatre and not be in for themselves, and I'm not saying that Uma was. It's hard work, so I want you to understand that I have nothing against Uma Thurman."
She then turned her criticism on the audience, explaining why she protests the enthusiasm for standing ovations. "Ovations are cheap in America; it's almost as if they stand because they have spent so much money. I don't stand. In protest, I stay seated. I am in protest of standing ovations, I stay seated and I'm just making my point. It's too cheap to stand now."Finally, the actress recently performed at the Grammy's, singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Andrew Lloyd Weber's Evita, sparking rumors that the two have reunited after their 20+ year feud due to him firing her from Sunset Boulevard in the nineties. We may never know why Patti LuPone was fired and replaced with Glenn Close, but we do know how. "He fired me. He didn't tell me anything. I found out through my agent on performance night at my dressing table," LuPone explained. "It was in a newspaper in New York that I found out, not from Andrew."
However, according to LuPone, reconciliation is not the case. "[Rehearsing with ALW for the Grammy's] was about getting the work done at the orchestra rehearsal but there was never any discussion about why I was fired," she said, according to BT. "We are professional acquaintances, for lack of a better word, so there is not a question of reconciliation when there wasn't a friendship, it was just a business relationship,"
LuPone is a two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner. She is also a 2006 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. The actress made her Broadway debut in Three Sisters in 1973. She received the first of six (as of 2014) Tony Award nominations for the 1975 musical The Robber Bridegroom. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Eva Perón in the 1979 original Broadway production of Evita. She played Fantine in the original London cast of LES MISERABLES and Moll in The Cradle Will Rock, winning the 1985 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in both. She won a second Tony Award for her role as Mama Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy.
Other stage musical performances include her Tony-nominated role as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 revival of Anything Goes, her Olivier-nominated role as Norma Desmond in the 1993 original production of Sunset Boulevard in London, her Tony-nominated role as Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and her Tony-nominated role as Lucia in the 2010 original production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She also won two GRAMMY AWARDS for the recording of the 2007 Los Angeles Opera production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording.
Photo by: Walter McBride