That is how she is described in Gary Brumbough's mini bio of LuPone on IMDB and is he ever spot on. Patti LuPone is an amazing woman. She has been nominated for six Tony Awards, winning two, Six Drama Desk Awards, winning three. The show's she has headlined would make anyone's list of the Best of Broadway, including Les Meserables, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeny Todd and of course the roles that earned her those Tony Awards Rose in Gypsy and Evita.
LuPone's talents are not limited to the stage. She has enjoyed quite a career in television and has been nominated for the Emmy three times. She is currently touring in three different shows simultaneously. On of those, the autobiographical 'The Gypsy In My Soul' played Dallas' unparalleled Meyerson Symphony Center this week.
First the Meyerson. The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center was designed by legendary Architect I. M. Pei. This was his first concert hall, but true to his reputation he created what is considered one of the greatest concert halls in the U. S. There is without exception no better place to hear a live concert performance in Dallas.
For a couple of hours the expansive concert hall was transformed into an intimate cabaret. LuPone entered the stage singing a song written to introduce the show. “The Gypsy In My Soul” was less than spectacular, and thankfully, no indication of what was in store for the largely gay male audience.
Act One provided LuPone the opportunity to interact playfully with the audience as she carried us on a journey of song and story performing songs that she personally identified with on some way. LuPone shared the stage with only a Grand Steinway and that was all she needed as she stepped into one character after another singing such classic pop tunes as “Frankie & Johnny”- which according to her was the lullaby she was soothed to sleep with as a child. Other highlights of the first act included her hysterical nod to Edith Piaf “I Regret Everything”, and the zany “I'll Never Do Anything Twice” The first half of this tour de force evening was fast paced and fun, but it was the haunting “I'm Calling You/Get Here” that produced chills and goose bumps. Her performance of this song alone was worth the price of admission.
After a brief intermission, the artist retuned with what many came to hear, a near hour long musical tour through her unparalleled Broadway career. Not since Elaine Stritch has a single artist been so identified with so many amazing Broadway shows. Here she performed many of the songs that she has become so closely identified with during her four decade Broadway career.
What was most incredible about her performance of these legendary musical numbers was that she did not merely sing the song. With each new number LuPone transformed herself into the character she created on Broadway. This was more than a concert, this was incredible musical performance art.
The highlights of the second act include “Don't Cry for Me Argentina,” from Evita, “Some People,” from Gypsy, “I Get A Kick Out of You,” from Anything Goes and “As Long As he Needs Me” from Oliver.
For her second of five encore's she returned to the stage with a disposable camera and snapped repeated flash pictures before tossing the camera into the audience. I find myself most endeared to an artist that doesn't take themselves to seriously and here this artist took an event in which she did not look the best in hind sight and turned it into something humorous. Without a word, she told us, I am only human and I am not above realizing and admitting I was a bit silly. If you are not aware of her famous mini meltdown on Broadway the night before Gypsy closed, just search it on You Tube.
Miss LuPone closed the show with two songs she performed without the aid of her microphone. This is something I have only seen Patti Labelle have the chops to attempt and like Miss Labelle this Patti pulled it off! By the end of her fifth encore the entire hall was at its' feet showering her with relentless applause and cheers. She was visibly emotional at the outpouring of affection, wiping away tears.
The Myerson Season is off to an amazing start, I would get season tickets now. Upcoming events at the Hall include evenings with K. D. Lang, Herbie Handcock, Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Feinstein with Marvin Hamlisch and Kool & The Gang-who never disappoint. For more information visit http://www.dallassymphony.com/
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