Our April 21st New Yorker Birthday is Patti LuPone.
Actress and Singer Patti LuPone was born on April 21, 1949, in Northport, New York, on Long Island, the daughter of Angela Louise (née Patti; 1910-2008), a library administrator at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, and Orlando Joseph LuPone (1909-1997), a school administrator and English teacher at Walt Whitman High School located in Huntington, Long Island.
She has won two Grammy Awards, two Tony Awards, and two Olivier Awards. She is also a 2006 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. A graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School and a founding member of John Houseman's The Acting Company in which she toured the country for four years.
LuPone began her professional career with The Acting Company in 1972 and made her Broadway debut in Three Sisters in 1973. She received the first of seven Tony nominations for the 1975 musical The Robber Bridegroom. She won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Eva Perón in the 1979 original Broadway production of Evita. She played Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables and Moll in The Cradle Will Rock, winning the 1985 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in both.
She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, "Patti LuPone, A Memoir, "and recently starring to critical acclaim in Marianne Elliott's new production of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical Company in London's West End. She recently won a "What's OnStage" Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance as Joanne.
Her recent NY stage appearances include the Broadway musical War Paint (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), Douglas Carter Beane’s new play Shows For Days, directed by Jerry Zaks at Lincoln Center Theater, her debut with the New York City Ballet as Anna in their new production of The Seven Deadly Sins, Joanne in the New York Philharmonic’s production of Company, David Mamet’s The Anarchist, and Lincoln Center Theater’s production of the musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Winner of the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Performance of the Season for her performance as Madame Rose in the most recent Broadway production of Gypsy.
Her other stage credits include appearances with the Los Angeles Opera in their new production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Weill-Brecht’s Mahagonny (debut), the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s opera To Hell and Back with San Francisco’s Baroque Philharmonia Orchestra, Mrs. Lovett in John Doyle’s production of Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations; Drama League Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre), the title role in Marc Blitzstein’s Regina, a musical version of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes at the Kennedy Center, Fosca in a concert version of Passion, which was also broadcast on PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center, a multi-city tour of her theatrical concert Matters of the Heart, the City Center Encores! productions of Can-Can and Pal Joey, the NY Philharmonic’s productions of Candide and Sweeney Todd (NY Phil debut) and performances on Broadway in Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, David Mamet’s The Old Neighborhood, Terrence McNally's Master Class and in her own concert Patti LuPone On Broadway.
Since 2000 she has appeared regularly at the Ravinia Festival. First in its Sondheim series when she starred as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Desiree in A Little Night Music, Fosca in Passion, Cora Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle, Madame Rose in Gypsy and in two different roles in Sunday in the Park with George. Her subsequent appearances there include a reprise of her performance in Heggie’s To Hell and Back, a concert performance of Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and starring in the title role in a concert production of Annie Get Your Gun.
Her subsequent New York credits include Dario Fo's Accidental Death of An Anarchist, David Mamet's The Water Engine, Edmond and The Woods and Israel Horovitz' Stage Directions and performances in the musicals Pal Joey for City Center Encores!, Anything Goes (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award), The Cradle Will Rock, Oliver!, Evita (Tony and Drama Desk Awards- Best Actress in a Musical), Working and The Robber Bridegroom. In London, she won the Olivier Award for her performances as Fantine in the original production of Les Miserables and in the Acting Company production of The Cradle Will Rock. She also created the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, and recreated her Broadway performance of Maria Callas in Master Class.
Film: Cliffs of Freedom, The Comedian, Union Square, Parker, City by the Sea, David Mamet’s Heist, State and Main; Just Looking, Summer of Sam, The 24 Hour Woman, Family Prayers, Driving Miss Daisy, Witness.
Television:Mom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Penny Dreadful (Critics Choice nomination), Girls, American Horror Story: Coven, Law & Order: SVU, Glee, 30 Rock, PBS Great Performances The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Ugly Betty, Will & Grace (as herself), PBS Great Performances’ Candide, Oz , the TNT film Monday Night Mayhem, PBS’ Evening At The Pops with John Williams and Yo Yo Ma, Falcone, Bonanno: A Godfather’s Story (Showtime); Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination); Law & Order, An Evening with Patti LuPone (PBS), the NBC movie Her Last Chance, Showtime's ACE Award and Emmy nominated The Song Spinner (Daytime Emmy nomination, Best Actress), The Water Engine, L.B.J., AMC's Remember WENN and ABC's Life Goes On.
Recordings include: Company (2018 London production), Far Away Places, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd (both the 2006 Broadway revival cast recording and 2000 live performance recording on NY Philharmonic’s Special Editions Label); and The Lady with the Torch.
Photo Credit: By Drama League from USA - Etro 053, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26050264