WASHINGTON, March 16, 2014 – These are busy times for American singer and actress Patti LuPone. The Broadway star has had starring roles on the TV series “American Horror Story” and HBO’s “Girls.” Just this month she made her debut at the Smith Center in Las Vegas with her concert program “Far Away Places,” which depicts a musical journey around the world.
Miss LuPone was the first Evita on Broadway and the original Fantine in “Les Misérables” on the London stage. She was also the star of the TV show “Life Goes On” (1989-1993).
This week The List of Ten looks at Patti LuPone’s Top Ten songs.
10. “Anything Goes” – Miss LuPone did Cole Porter’s words and music justice in her portrayal of nightclub singer Reno Sweeney. She excelled as she always does, singing the title song in the Lincoln Center 1987 revival of this 1934 show about antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Miss LuPone was nominated for a Tony for her effort and won the Dramatic Desk Award for her performance.
9. “Being Alive” – This song from the 1970 musical “Company” written by Stephen Sondheim has been performed in many concerts by Miss LuPone. In 2011, she played the role of Joanne in a four-night limited engagement concert production of “Company” with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Mr. Sondheim himself.
8. “The Worst Pies In London” – Playing the role of the notorious Mrs. Lovett, she earned high praise in the 2006 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s musical thriller “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” The Philadelphia Inquirer said her performance “is the work not of a star, but of an artist.”
7. “Rainbow High” – Miss LuPone starred as Eva Peron in the original 1979 Broadway production of “Evita,” composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. She was hailed by the critics for this role and won a Tony Award in the process. She sang this particularly difficult song in its original key for the first time in 2012 with Seth Rudetsky at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.
6. “Everything Is Coming Up Roses” – Miss LuPone won a Tony Award for her performance as Mama Rose in the 2008 revival of “Gypsy: A Musical Fable.” In a performance of “Gypsy” on January 10 2009, Miss LuPone stopped in the middle of one of her songs to demand a photographer to stop taking pictures. Good for her.
5. “Send In The Clowns” – This classic song from Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” appeared on her “Patti LuPone Live” album in 1993. She also sang the song in a concert production of “A Little Night Music” at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park Illinois, in 2002.
4. “As Long As He Needs Me” – She starred as Nancy opposite Rod Moody’s Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway revival of “Oliver!” in 1984, and of course sang this classic song. Clive Barnes of the New York Times said, “‘Oliver!’ is glorious food for Broadway.”
3. “With One Look” – Miss LuPone sang this charming song in the original London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” in 1993 and was contracted to reprise her role as faded movie queen Norma Desmond in its subsequent Broadway production the following year. However, she was famously sacked by Andrew Lloyd Webber and replaced in the New York production by Glenn Close.
2. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” – Miss LuPone truly found musical theater stardom when she created the role of Eva Peron in “Evita.” Even today, this song is mostly associated with her in the United States. However, in a 2007 interview, she observed, “Evita was the worst experience of my life, I was screaming my way through a part that could only have been written by a man who hates women.”
1. “I Dreamed a Dream” – Long before Anne Hathaway won an Oscar for singing this song, Miss LuPone created the role of Fantine in Cameron Mackintosh’s original London production of “Les Misérables” in 1985. Her version of this song helped that production become the longest running musical in the world. After Susan Boyle again made the song famous with her surprise 2009 rendition on “Britain’s Got Talent,” Miss LuPone’s version reached No. 45 on the U.K. charts.
Compiled by John Haydon
Sources: Chicago Sun Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer