Long before she began entertaining audiences from her basement, Patti LuPone won her first Tony Award in 1980 in the title role of the original Broadway production of Evita. Since that time, she has picked up two Olivier Awards—her first for her work in The Cradle Will Rock and Les Misérables and her second for the 2019 London revival of Company—as well as a second Tony for her performance as Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy. As Broadway remains temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like a great time to look back at the career of this stellar artist. Enjoy these show-stopping performances while much of the country is asked to #StayatHome.
"Rainbow High" from Evita
Interesting side note: this fiery, no-holds-barred performance on The Merv Griffin Show took place on the stage of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, where LuPone would later star in the 1988 revival of Anything Goes and also marry husband Matt Johnston. The song begins at the 9:40 mark.
"A New Argentina" from Evita.
The rousing, first act finale from the Broadway production of Evita, also featuring Mandy Patinkin and Bob Gunton, on the 1980 Tony Awards.
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita
Perhaps LuPone's most passionate, powerful, and beautifully sung performance of one of her signature tunes—performed on the Grammy Awards in 1981; years later, she reprised her performance at the 2018 Grammys.
"I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables
Following her return to the States after winning her first Olivier—the first American to ever receive that award—LuPone appeared on The Joan Rivers Show to perform Fantine's soaring ballad and also promote her work as Lady Bird Johnson in the TV film LBJ: The Early Years.
"Anything Goes" from Anything Goes
LuPone, who played Reno Sweeney in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of the Cole Porter classic, performed the musical's title tune on the 1988 Tony Awards.
"Being Alive" from Company
In June 1992 many of the top Broadway musical theatre artists took part in Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall, which was later released on DVD and broadcast on PBS. It was the first time LuPone offered her deeply felt rendition of "Being Alive," which subsequently became a staple of her concert act.
"As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard
LuPone, who was Olivier-nominated for creating the role of Norma Desmond in the London production of Sunset Boulevard, first performed the role at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1992 Sydmonton Festival, which was professionally filmed for the composer's archives.
"As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver!
LuPone starred opposite Ron Moody in the 1984 Broadway revival of Oliver! Here, she re-creates her showstopping performance of Nancy's anthem.
"The Worst Pies in London" from Sweeney Todd
Before she earned a Tony nomination for playing Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece, LuPone starred opposite George Hearn in a staged concert version of Sweeney Todd in 2000 at the New York Philharmonic.
"Everything's Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy
LuPone won her second Tony for her knockout performance as indomitable stage mother Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy; at the 2008 Tony Awards, she belted out the first act finale, joined by Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines, who also won Tonys for their work in the Arthur Laurents-directed revival.
"The Ladies Who Lunch" from Company
LuPone, an Olivier winner for playing the caustic Joanne in the gender-bending London revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, plays the same role in the 2020 Broadway revival. Here, she sings Joanne's 11 o'clock number at the 80th birthday tribute to Sondheim while original Joanne, the late Elaine Stritch, watches.