Patti LuPone review at Leicester Square Theatre London
When Seth Rudetsky commands “Dish!” to Broadway legend Patti LuPone, it’s clear we’re not going to get some hagiographic career retrospective. Instead, we get a light, revealing and often hilarious conversation, interspersed with performances plucked from a career full of some of musical theatre’s strongest female roles.
Opening the evening by deconstructing a selection of his favourite video performances – from Florence Henderson to Andrew Rannells and LuPone herself – Rudetsky cheerfully points out the ludicrous elements of the genre he loves. It sets the tone for the whole evening – affectionate, but not too reverent, which filters through to his interviewing style.
LuPone is an open interviewee, happy to talk about the major incidents in her theatrical life – originating Les Miserables at the Barbican, auditioning for Evita, her anger and frustration over the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. But rather than choosing to dwell on her career low points, she instead delivers a number of beautifully expressed musical numbers.
The informality of the evening seems to filter through to the song selection, with LuPone often scrabbling through song sheets to find the number Rudetsky decides they are to perform. From Sondheim to Herman to Lloyd Webber’s Eva Peron, LuPone demonstrates that while she and Rudetsky form a dynamic duo, it is her voice that is the one true star.
Climaxing with a barnstorming rendition of Rainbow High, it is clear that London, for one week only, is in the presence of more than a little touch of star quality.
Leicester Square Theatre, London, June 16-23
- Mark Cortale
- Patti LuPone, Seth Rudetsky
- Running time