Posts tagged patti lupone
Perhaps best known for her Tony Award-winning role as the very first Evita on Broadway, theater icon Patti LuPone returns to Atlanta on Monday, September 13th to sign her new book, ‘Patti LuPone: A Memoir,’ at Agnes Scott College…
We interviewed Patti LuPone a few years ago she she came to Atlanta to perform Matters of the Heart at the Burkharts for a meet and greet with her gay fans.. After her performance, she headed to
Patti LuPone has a reputation for being strong-willed and opinionated… some may even say difficult (she is a diva, after all). But during our interview Patti LuPone was nothing but polite and gracious. She called right on time while she was out to lunch in New York City, and even asked us how much to tip the waiter!
Do you perform any dressing room rituals when you get to a new theater?
I warm up and warm up some more. And I can’t leave my dressing room without everything being in order. My life is so chaotic that everything has to be neat and organized. Sometimes I won’t even let other people hang up my costumes – I have to hang them up myself. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s all part of being mentally focused.
How have your own loves influenced your performances?
Theater is such a personal experience. I always start to recall past loves during the show along with the audience. Of course I also have my family.
You’re best known for Broadway, but you’ve sang everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Steven Sondheim in the past.
I never really listened to Broadway growing up, I always loved rock and roll. Now I feel like I’m bonding with my son since I love to listen to. A well-rounded performer will listen to all kinds of music. I like classical, Middle Eastern, and rock a lot.
Since you loved rock and roll, why did you decide to get into classical theater?
It was an instinct. I knew I could act and I knew I had a Broadway voice.
When you won the Tony did you feel like you had accomplished everything you set out to do?
Oh God no, I just felt relieved! To be nominated was enough, but when I won I just felt relief.
You’ve done a lot of work for AIDS and HIV.
I do what I can, but it’s not enough. I make my son completely aware of it. I did a concert for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis at Carnegie Hall in New York a few years ago, and my musical director died of AIDS. It’s sad. I do what I can, but like I said it’s never enough.
You played the mom in ‘Life Goes On.’ What drew you to that role?
Not much [laughs]. It was a job. I saw the script and thought, “Oh wow, I haven’t done that before.”
The family sang a lot on the show. What kind of input did you have into the songs they chose?
I was actually thinking about that the other day. I was furious with the producers. They wouldn’t give me any input at all. I thought “you idiots – you’ve television people, you don’t know!” And they didn’t. Thank God I didn’t actually have to sing that much.
You guest-starred on ‘Will & Grace.’ Were you a fan of the show?
Oh yes. They had written a joke about me early on, and I was so flattered. So I sent a bouquet of flowers to the producers and said “I’m honored – thanks for keeping me alive.” The next thing I knew they called and asked if I’d come on.
Was it fun to work with ?
Oh my God, he’s fabulous! He was definitely the bigger diva, and I mean that in a good way. He’s an actor. He comes on the set as a regular person and plays a role, as do Eric McCormack and Debra Messing and Megan Mullally. They’re all so great. I don’t know how to act they way they do. But the one who impressed me the most was Eric. He really analyzed and improved on what the writers wrote. I just thought it was incredible how he would help make every scene better, even Sean’s.
Do fans ask you to sing when they meet you in person like Jack did on ‘Will & Grace’?
No! What? Is that not the answer you were looking for? [Laughs]
The gay community obviously loves you. Has their admiration influenced any of the roles you’ve chosen or the music you’ve performed?
No. Because if I did that then I’d have to do the same thing for blind people and fat people and everyone else. I just create, that’s what I do.
Who is your favorite diva?
Definitely Bette Davis.
You write a ‘Ramblings on the Road’ column on PattiLuPone.net. Do you like to travel?
Oh I love to travel. I write about different restaurants and things I’ve been to. I’ll put some things up about Atlanta after I’m there.
Where does the rooster logo on your Web site come from?
It’s a chicken. I grew up in a small fishing village in Long Island where we had a farm. I’d have to collect the chickens. My friend Barbara’s family used to have chickens and ducks also. I’d pass them on my way visit her and I’d always say hello to the chickens. These are childhood memories I’ll never forget. And in St. Barth’s on my honeymoon, my husband and I would go get eggs at the market. Not a supermarket, but a market. You know those golden yolk eggs that are so delicious? You can’t find them at the grocery store. I just love chickens I guess.
You’ve had so many film and television roles. Which do you like best?
I like it all. But I’ll tell you, situation comedy is so easy and was my favorite job in the world. It’s 9 to 5, and then you get back to your family.
One of the television shows you appeared on was HBO’s ‘Oz.’ That’s a heavy show – what made you decide to take that role?
My cousin Tom Fontana, who created the show, asked me to do it. He offered me the role so I took it. And you’re right, it was difficult to watch.
You also played a part in ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ that was filmed in Atlanta.
Yes, we shot it in Buckhead. I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to get back.
took lessons from your voice coach to prepare for the movie version of ‘Evita.’ What did you think of her performance?
I didn’t see it. I think she’s a wonderful performer, but I don’t see anything that I’m no longer in. It brings back too many memories. I didn’t watch ‘Evita’ and I didn’t watch ‘Les Mis’ and I didn’t watch ‘Anything Goes.’ Maybe it’s a strange way of protecting myself, I don’t know.
Madonna will be disappointed. In an interview she said she really hoped you’d like her performance.
She did not. Did she really? I find it hard to believe that Madonna would say that. Oh well, like I said – I don’t see anything after I leave.
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