She's confusing diction and projection.
Last Edit: PlayWiz 11:19 am EDT 06/10/24
Posted by: PlayWiz 11:09 am EDT 06/10/24
In reply to: ‘I can’t understand a lyric’: Patti LuPone laments lost art of projection in musical theatre - young-walsingham 03:39 am EDT 06/10/24

When I saw her in "Evita", I was impressed by the sound of her voice, but I recall being kind of weirded out and couldn't quite admit to myself at the time (overwhelmed perhaps by the great production) that I couldn't actually understand a lot of what she was singing about. So her diction was a problem, but her sound and her stage presence clearly registered. Mandy Patinkin, Bob Gunton and others could be understood. I saw her in "The Cradle Will Rock" off-Broadway, which I think was done without amplification, and she clearly has a big voice and knows how to project. Plus, LuPone was certainly better diction-wise in "Anything Goes", but she does tend to have this mush-mouth approach to lyrics that's vocal laziness. Besides all the technicalities of being aware of diction, like final consonants -- and all other consonants and vowels -- diction requires the performer to really want to communicate to their audiences, simple as that. Interesting she confuses projection, which the amplification helps take care of, with diction, with actually communicating the words, in which her efforts change pretty drastically, seemingly depending on her attitude, since she clearly can do it when she wants to.
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