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Theatre Review: Patti LuPone - Leicester Square Theatre ✭✭✭✭✭

PATTI LuPONE
Photo by Ethan Hill
featuring SETH RUDETSKY as pianist and host

Presented in association with Martin Witts for London International Arts Theatres Limited
Leicester Square Theatre from Sunday June 16 - Sunday June 23

Review by Claire Spence

Two-time Tony and Olivier Award-winning Broadway legend, Patti LuPone returns to the West End for seven gold dust performances. Patti LuPone is best known for her Tony Award-winning performance as Eva Perón in Evita on Broadway and creating the role of Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables, for which she was named Best Actress in a Musical at the Oliviers. She created the role of Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard in the West End and won a second Best Actress Tony Award as Mama Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy. ­

Host, Seth Rudetsky’s warm up act, features extracts from his forthcoming show, “Deconstructing Broadway” and certainly readies the audience for the ensuing diva. Rudestsky’s camp American Jewish stand up routine transports you instantly to the glitzy theatres of Broadway via a combination of stories, anecdotes supported by some grainy footage from the late 70’s and 80’s. The auditorium is dotted with extra TV screens to allow the aging audience seated at the back of the audience to see the action onscreen. The back of the stage is framed with its usual red velvet curtain and stage right bears a mini grand piano adorned with a simple vase of beautiful red roses. Stage right holds two white leather sofa chairs and a glass table with another vase of red roses and two wines glasses filled with water. A short interval enables the audience to fill their glasses before the headliner, Patti LePone arrives onstage.

LuPone bursts onto the stage and wows from the get-go, she entertains with star quality, emotion and gusto as though her life depends upon it. LuPone is an incredible performer and sings each and every song with power and conviction, which touches you to the core. It is very evident why LuPone has a loyal following and I feel fortunate to experience over an hour in her company. Lupone’s stories are insightful but based on the knowledge that you are aware of the drama’s which highlighted and marred LuPone’s career in the Eighties, which I am not, so I felt slightly lost at times. However, the chemistry between Rudetsky and LuPone is mesmerising and Rudetsky’s comical interview skills bring the fun out balancing between LuPone’s interview on the chairs and the songs at the piano. Rudetsky’s pianist skills and sheer love and devotion compliments LuPone total dedication to her performance and I left the theatre feeling invigorated, excited and pleased to witness a true legend. Each performance will be unique with various songs from LuPone’s vast repertoire being performed depend on the direction the interview takes.

The Leicester Square Theatre is the perfect venue for this evening with Patti LuPone. Anyone interested in Musical Theatre should witness the legend that is Patti LuPone although the ticket prices reflect her cult following and many up and coming musical theatre stars may be priced out. But she is worth every penny. The THREE encores and standing ovations prove that.

5 stars ✭✭✭✭✭

Tuesday June 18 at 7.00pm
Wednesday June 19 at 7.00pm
Thursday June 20 at 7.00pm
Saturday June 22 at 6.30pm
Sunday June 22 at 4.30pm & 7.00pm

Tickets: £40.00 - £65.00

Box office: 08448 733433
http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/

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