Patti LuPone accompanied by Seth Rudetsky
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX to 23 June 2013
Tues-Thurs 7pm. Sat 6.30pm Sun 4.30 pm and 7pm
Runs 2 hr 45 mins One interval
Seth Rudetsky performs his Deconstructing Broadway Show 9.30pm 22 June.
TICKETS 08448 733433
Review: William Russell 16 June
Broadway diva delights.
She was the original Fantine in Les Miserables, played Evita on Broadway, fell out with Andrew Lloyd Webber when cast as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, won two Tony awards, and has appeared on television, in films and as a straight actress which is how she began in the profession. Patti LuPone can still belt a song with the best of them.
This is one of those chat shows in which the diva is interviewed between songs by Seth Rudetsky, a gloriously camp gentleman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of musicals and an affectionate, joshing relationship with the lady. Small, in black trousers, no high heels as she has had foot surgery, and a jacket with glitter on the sleeves worn over something black, she has some good stories to tell, although occasionally the point got lost and just what the problem was with Sunset Boulevard is never spelled out in any detail. It all had to do with creating the role here and who was chosen to create it in the subsequent American production.
As such shows go, this is a delight, and the voice is in remarkably good nick. She opens with Everything’s Coming Up Roses, which is a bit like starting at the end, does a searing version of Ladies Who Lunch, a delicious Edith Piaf send up called I Regret Everything, and reminds everyone that I Had a Dream is her song. And no, she hasn’t seen the movie of Les Miserables. She is also interesting on the relationship between performer and audience in the theatre.
Rudetsky, who does his thing on television and on You Tube, says he is “an American Elaine Page, only a tad taller,” sets the scene with some hilarious clips of other divas messing things up on TV shows – Leslie Uggams singing gibberish because she has forgotten the words to June is Bustin’ Out All Over, the Osmonds murdering songs from Fiddler on the Roof, and Shirley Bassey destroying Everything’s Coming Up Roses on an oil rig is one the Dame would disown.