Don’t Miss ‘The Great Work Begins: Scenes From Angels In America’

(image via amFAR)

Don’t miss the all-star benefit performance of The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America which premieres tonight, October 8,  in support of amfAR’s Fund to Fight COVID-19.

This free 60-minute livestream also features an introduction by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner that contextualizes COVID-19 in relation to the early days of the AIDS epidemic.  This special event marks amfAR’s historic first foray into Broadway.

Among the theater luminaries taking part in the event are Glenn Close, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Andrew Rannells, Daphne Rubin-Vega and many more. Shot during the coronavirus pandemic, high-level technology has been used to place the actors in scenes with each other even though filmed separately.

The performance begins at 8:30 PM ET on Broadway.com’s YouTube. While free to watch, donations are encourage with proceeds going to the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19.

For more info, click over to TheGreatWorkBegins.org.

Patti LuPone & Randy Rainbow Parody “If Donald Was Fired!”

Broadway legend Patti LuPone and Randy Rainbow (screen capture)

Political satirist Randy Rainbow is back today with a special guest, Broadway legend Patti LuPone.

The duo teams up on a parody of “If Mama Was Married” from the 1959 Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy.

LuPone took home the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award in 2008 for her star turn in the revival the acclaimed musical.

In the video, Rainbow is attempting to ‘moderate’ a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but becomes frustrated in the process.

LuPone appears in a puff of smoke: “When gay men are in crisis, I just materialize.”

I won’t spoil the jokes, but these are some of Rainbow’s best parody lyrics in some time. Hit the play button and enjoy 🙂

LuPone Shades Trump’s Balcony Appearance: ‘I Still Have The Lung Power And I Wore Less Makeup’

L-R Patti LuPone, Donald Trump

Who can ‘balcony’ better? I think we know…

Tony Award-winning diva Patti LuPone, who knows a thing or two about holding court on a balcony thanks to her Tony Award-winning role in Evita, slammed Donald Trump’s appearance on the balcony of the White House last night when he made his ‘dramatic’ return from Walter Reed Medical Center.

Taking note of Trump’s visible gasping for breath in video of his balcony moment, LuPone wrote, “I still have the lung power and I wore less makeup. This revival is closing November 3rd.”

Stunning Virtual Collaboration: ‘Bolero Juilliard’

This is really quite special.

Proposed by Juilliard President Damian Woetzel and under the artistic leadership of choreographer (and New Dances veteran) Larry Keigwin, Bolero Juilliard is a virtual collaboration with Juilliard’s community of artists, bringing together dancers, instrumentalists, singers, actors, and alumni during the ongoing pandemic.

In addition to the incredibly talented students taking part in the creative endeavor, don’t miss famous alumni of the school popping up throughout the video including Christine Baranski (drama), Jon Batiste (jazz studies), Renée Fleming (voice), Laura Linney (drama), Patti LuPone (drama), Yo-Yo Ma (music), Bebe Neuwirth (dance), Itzhak Perlman (music), Bradley Whitford (drama) and more.

Broadway Diva Patti LuPone Set To Join Cast Of FX’s ‘Pose”

Producer/director Ryan Murphy made news Saturday night at PaleyFest in Los Angeles when he announced a new diva would be joining the cast of FX’s Pose.  While moderating a panel with cast members of the ground-breaking series, Murphy surprised the audience - and cast - that Broadway icon, Patti LuPone, will be joining the show for season two.
Tony & Grammy Award winner Patti LuPone

Producer/director Ryan Murphy made news Saturday night at PaleyFest in Los Angeles when he announced a new diva would be joining the cast of FX’s Pose.

While moderating a panel with cast members of the ground-breaking series, Murphy surprised the audience – and cast – that Broadway icon, Patti LuPone, will be joining the show for season two.

According to Deadline, Murphy told cast members MJ Rodriguez and Billy Porter they would be sharing plenty of scenes with the two-time Tony Award winner.

LuPone is currently appearing in the gender-bending revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company in London, where she has been nominated for an Olivier Award for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role.”

Murphy also told the crowd that the series will time-jump from the late 1980s to the year 1990. The first episode of the new season will take place on the day Madonna’s mega-hit “Vogue” was released.

Expect to hear about Madge’s co-opting of the vogueing/ ball culture of New York City for her now-iconic music video. Plus, since LuPone has been an outspoken critic of Madonna in the past, we’ll be curious to see if any of that animosity surfaces in the diva’s scenes.

The talk-back took place after a screening of episode six from season one of the series, “Love is the Message,” which was written and directed by acclaimed transgender activist Janet Mock. The episode, the first in television history to be directed by a transgender woman, was also Mock’s directorial debut.

And speaking of directing, Murphy announced during the panel that Mock, Porter and producer Our Lady J would all be helming episodes in the upcoming season.

Season two of Pose begins shooting next week and will premiere in June.

(cropped image via Flickr/Etro053 – CC license)

‘Will & Grace’ Serves Up Guest-Star Mashup Video

Patti LuPone guest starring on ‘Will & Grace’

Over the 8 years of its original run (plus the two reboot/revival seasons), Will & Grace has given us not only lots of laughs from the ‘fearsome foursome,’ but tons of great guest stars.

Patti LuPone, Rosie O’Donnell, Blythe Danner, Ellen DeGeneres, David Schwimmer, Matt Bomer and Adam Rippon have all dropped by the hit NBC series to take part in the hilarity.

Plus, we’ve gotten cameo spots by music icons like Elton John, Janet Jackson, Madonna, JLo, Britney Spears and the one-and-only Cher.

With so many guest stars, the series has shared this awesome mash-up of celeb visitors over the years.

The comedy champ is still going strong having already been confirmed for a third revival season for fall of 2019.

The current second revival season returns on January 31, 2019.

Who is your favorite W&G guest star? I’ll go first – the fabulous Blythe Danner (as Will’s mother) always made us giggle. Totally brilliant.

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on Nov 29, 2018 at 6:09pm PST

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on May 7, 2018 at 3:49pm PDT

A post shared by Will & Grace (@nbcwillandgrace) on Jun 5, 2018 at 10:19am PDT

Broadway Stars Ben Platt & Patti LuPone Deliver Powerful Performances At 2018 Grammy Awards

Patti LuPone delivers stunning “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”
at 2018 Grammy Awards

Last night’s Grammy Awards included tributes to Broadway legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Leonard Bernstein performed by Tony Award winners Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and the one and only Patti Lupone (Evita).

Platt delivered a stirring “Somewhere” from Bernstein’s West Side Story, but it was LuPone’s electrifying “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from the original Broadway production of Evita in 1979 (a true diva who can still deliver like a boss 39 years later) that stunned the Grammy audience.

LuPone quickly began trending on Twitter.

It was also a big night for Platt as the Dear Evan Hansen cast recording took home the 2018 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, moving Platt to the halfway mark to EGOT status ― that is, winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

Watch both performances below.

Two-time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy chimed in with praise as well:

Tony Award Preview: “War Paint” Starring Patti LuPone & Christine Ebersole

Tony Award winners Christine Ebersole (L) and Patti LuPone (R)

Via BroadwayWorld:

War Paint, the new Broadway musical about cosmetic doyennes Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, earned four Tony nominations, including for its stars, Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone.

Today, CBS SUNDAY MORNING’s Richard Schlesinger sat down with the actresses, along with author Lindy Woodhead, in a behind-the-scenes story.

War Paint tells the remarkable story of cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein (Patti LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Christine Ebersole), who defined beauty standards for the first half of the 20th Century.

Brilliant innovators with humble roots, both women were masters of self-invention who sacrificed everything to become the country’s first major female entrepreneurs. They were also fierce competitors, whose 50-year tug-of-war would give birth to an industry that would forever change the face of America.

Patti LuPone Calls Madonna “A Movie Killer”

Patti LuPone

Two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone isn’t shy about sharing her thoughts on Madonna’s acting skills calling her a “movie killer” after Andy Cohen asks her what she thought of the Madonna’s performance in the film adaptation of Evita.

“I was on the treadmill when MTV used to have videos, and I saw ’Buenos Aires,’ and I thought it was a piece of sh*t. Madonna is a movie killer. She’s dead behind the eyes. She cannot act her way out of a paper bag. She should not be in film or onstage. She’s a wonderful performer for what she does, but she is not an actress.”

As Broadway fans know, LuPone was the original Broadway star of Evita, winning the first of her two Tony Awards for her star turn as “Eva Perón.”

She won a second Tony Award for her role as “Mama Rose” in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy.

Watch the dish below.

Patti LuPone Welcomes Audience To The Theatre

Patti LuPone and Michael Urie in SHOWS FOR DAYS

Earlier this week, Broadway icon Patti LuPone made headlines when she snatched a cell phone out of the hands of an audience member who was texting during the performance of her current show Shows For Days at Lincoln Center.

LuPone describe the incident to the New York Times:

“This woman — a very pretty young woman — was sitting with her boyfriend or husband. We could see her text. She was so uninterested. She showed her husband what she was texting. We talked about it at intermission. When we went out for the second act I was very close to her, and she was still texting. I watched her and thought, “What am I going to do?” At the very end of that scene, we all exit. What I normally do is shake the hand of the people in the front row. I just walked over to her, shook her hand and took her phone. I walked offstage and handed it to the stage manager, who gave it to the house manager.

“I don’t know why they buy the ticket or come to the theater if they can’t let go of the phone. It’s controlling them. They can’t turn it off and can’t stop looking at it. They are truly inconsiderate, self-absorbed people who have no public manners whatsoever. I don’t know what to do anymore. I was hired as an actor, not a policeman of the audience.

It’s getting worse. I’m hired to tell a story, and it takes a lot of effort and work to do that convincingly. It’s a handful of people who destroy that experience for everyone. It’s heartbreaking. Theater is not a social event.”

She issued this public statement about her actions and why she feels so strongly about the issue:

“We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones. They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore. Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshall the audience as well as perform.”

Last night, the show began like this:

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Enjoy . . .
Posted by Matt Johnston on Friday, July 10, 2015