Patti LuPone in a promotional photo for "A Life In Notes"

Patti LuPone Dazzles at Carnegie Hall

Frank J. Avella READ TIME: 2 MIN.

The theater community is blessed with consummate professionals, rousing entertainers, brilliant creatives and musical miracles. Rarely, maybe twice in a generation, does an artist emerge who is all of those things and so much more–an artist who continues to reach new career heights. Sure, I'm fan-boying out here but I have witnessed the genius of Patti LuPone ever since my mother brought me to "Evita" as a young boy. After that, we literally attended every single show she did on and off Broadway, play or musical–it didn't matter, what mattered was watching this masterful talent continue to astonish and grow.

LuPone's super-personal, revealing and joyous new show, "A Life in Notes," conceived and directed by her longtime collaborator Scott Wittman, does not disappoint, but continues the evolution as she takes her audience on a tour of the songs that have made an indelible mark on her life.

Whether she's singing an aching rendition of Jean Surrey's "Teen Angel," or the haunting James Shelton ballad "Lilac Wine" (which she first heard at age 19 in a marijuana haze) or Gene Raskin's exhilarating yet poignant, "Those Were the Days," LuPone stuns with her vocal prowess and ability to turn each song into a narrative odyssey.

Post-intermission, LuPone smartly gifted the audience with a trio of her musical theater showstoppers, culminating in Sondheim's "The Ladies Who Lunch," (exciting the screams out of the oh, so many gay men in attendance) before devastating with her tribute to the many friends lost to AIDS with Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye."

For me, it was her stunning interpretation of Janis Ian's "Stars" that profoundly affected me. "Stars, they come and go, They come fast or slow, They go like the last light, Of the sun, all in a blaze, And all you see is glory, But it gets lonely there..." The moment was both recognition and revelation.

The evening proved one thing for certain, Broadway needs Patti LuPone much more than Patti LuPone needs Broadway.

"Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes" continues to tour throughout the U.S.

by Frank J. Avella

Frank J. Avella is a proud EDGE and Awards Daily contributor. He serves as the GALECA Industry Liaison and is a Member of the New York Film Critics Online. His award-winning short film, FIG JAM, has shown in Festivals worldwide ( Frank's screenplays have won numerous awards in 17 countries. Recently produced plays include LURED & VATICAL FALLS, both O'Neill semifinalists. He is currently working on a highly personal project, FROCI, about the queer Italian/Italian-American experience. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

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