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re: Patti LuPone coming up on THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert n/m
Last Edit: portenopete 12:57 pm EDT 05/24/22
Posted by: portenopete 12:45 pm EDT 05/24/22
In reply to: Patti LuPone coming up on THE LATE SHOW with Stephen Colbert n/m - Ballerina56 11:44 pm EDT 05/23/22

I found it hard to sit through the segments. Playing that recording of her chewing out the audience member- however justified I think she was- made her come off as obnoxious. (To me; I'm sure it will endear her to some.) I have always found LuPone to sit one the wrong side of the divide between refreshingly candid and stridently dogmatic. If I liked her work more I might be more disposed to veer towards the refreshingly candid side. When she launched into Ladies Who Lunch- with Colbert weirdly, distractingly sitting there sipping a martini and 'reacting'- I could only stand about 30 seconds before having to switch the channel. The pointless over stressing of interior consonants ("fiTTing" and "siTTing") and the weird disconnected laugh were two of the things that made me reach for the remote. And the swooping up and down to the note thus obscuring the pointedness of the lyrics. Am I missing something? I get nothing more than the sense that she has is not speaking English and has chosen to make the most powerful wall of sound and as long as the notes are loud and long then that is a performance. I get no story, no progression, no interior monologue. I would love to know what those notes of Sondheim's were that made her so despondent. Knowing what I know about him, I can't believe he liked her approach and yet he continued to approve her (I guess?) for many high-profile revivals and concerts.

I think the things I've liked her in have been shows where the material needed elevation and her loud brassy approach improved the event. Evita's lyrics are moronic but ALW's tunes can be stirring when belted out of the stadium. Reno Sweeney was written for a limited actress with a clarion tone and tons of positive pep, so she slipped into that one perfectly. And even though she was far from my favourite Rose, I thought her power and drive and vulgarity made sense; I still preferred Bernadette's subtler, coy Rose, who was able to deliver the necessary monstrous passion in both act-ending numbers.

Listening to Christine Baranski's take on Ladies Who Lunch in the online 90th birthday tribute last year was revelatory: she personifies the icy sang froid and quick-wittedness that I think is Joanne's most identifying feature. She reeks money and privilege and smarts and latent sadness and I can't imagine any well-known star- Stritch included- who is better-suited to that song.
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