The penultimate presentation of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2013-14 Pops Series will be the two-time Tony Award®-winning actress and singer Patti LuPone’s 8 p.m. Friday, April 11th, and Saturday, April 12th, performances of her critically acclaimed one-woman show Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda … Played That Role, conceived and directed by Scott Wittman, with musical arrangements by Dick Gallagher, in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. The North Carolina Symphony, under the direction of resident conductor William Henry Curry, will accopany the 64-year-old Northport, NY native and Juilliard graduate (BFA 1972).
Patti LuPone won the 1980 Tony Award and the 1980 Drama Desk Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for creating the title role in the original Broadway production of Evita; the 1985 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for creating the role of Fantine in London’s original West End production of Les Misérables; and the 2008 Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Madame Rose in Gypsy.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times called Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda “An amusing, honest, passionate autobiography.” Will Friedwald of The Wall Street Journal add, “Singing one Broadway showstopper after another the Broadway icon finds new ways to be explicit and subtle at the same time. Her climactic Sondheim quartet is a marvel unto itself.”
Frank Scheck of The New York Post noted that Patti LuPone gives “A relaxed, funny performance, filled with running gags that were delivered with the crack timing of a stand-up comedian”; and Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times claimed, “Patti LuPone can belt ’em out like nobody since Ethel Merman. And, when she sets her mind to it, she also can (and does) do a great deal more.”
Nelson Pressley of The Washington Post raved: “You don’t want to miss it when Patti LuPone throws a party, which is essentially what she did with her concert Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, less a consideration of what LuPone coulda been than a celebration of the singular stage force she is. Behold as she cocks her hop, extends a hand yearningly toward the audience and sings from her heels. Many try, but few have the knockout punch of LuPone. A Sondheim sequence found LuPone in supple, sublime form. She illuminated the witty lyrics of ‘I Never Do Anything Twice,’ with clever gestures and intelligent phrasing, delivered a poignant ‘Anyone Can Whistle,’ and added a brisk, ferocious and memorable ‘Ladies Who Lunch.'”
Octavio Roca of San Francisco Chronicle reported, “She came on like a burst of sunshine, looking impossibly young and sexy, her nimbus smile glowing and her voice at its glorious best. Patti LuPone, the American musical theater’s greatest living star was the San Francisco Symphony’s guest Saturday night for a terrific show called Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda and what she gave was the season’s hottest concert. Her voice has grown, if anything, more supple, vulnerable when the moment needs that, with reserves of power never far. There in no one like Patti LuPone.”
According to the North Carolina Symphony bio:
“Patti LuPone’s most recent Broadway appearances include David Mamet’s The Anarchist  and the new musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown , for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other recent New York stage appearances include her debut with the New York City Ballet as guest soloist in their new production of The Seven Deadly Sins and her performance as Joanne in the New York Philharmonic’s production of Company.
“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 her debut with the Los Angeles Opera in [Kurt] Weill-[Bertolt] Brecht’s Mahagonny, 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, and 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! production of Can-Can, the New York Philharmonic’s productions of Candide and Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic 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’s 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.
“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, 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’s 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 for 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 Misérables and in the Acting Company production of The Cradle Will Rock. She also created the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and recreated her Broadway performance of Maria Callas in Master Class.
“Films include: Union Square, directed by Nancy Savocca, Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford, City By The Sea, Heist and State and Main, both written and directed by David Mamet; Summer of Sam, Driving Miss Daisy, and Witness.
“TV includes: ‘Girls,’ ‘American Horror Story: Coven,’ ‘Glee,’ ’30 Rock,’ ‘Ugly Betty,’ NBC’s ‘Will & Grace,’ the Emmy Award winning PBS broadcasts of Passion and Sweeney Todd, PBS Great Performances’ Candide, Oz , the TNT film Monday Night Mayhem, Frasier (1998 Emmy nomination); ‘Law & Order,’ ‘An Evening with Patti LuPone’ (PBS) and ABC’s Life Goes On.
“Recordings include: ‘Far Away Places,’ ‘Patti LuPone at Les Mouches,’ the 2008 Broadway cast recording of ‘Gypsy,’ ‘The Lady with the Torch,’ ‘Sweeney Todd’ (both the 2006 Broadway revival cast recording and 2000 live performance recording on New York Philharmonic’s Special Editions Label), ‘Matters of the Heart’ (cited as one of the best recordings of 1999 by both Time Out/NY and The Times of London), ‘Pal Joey,’ ‘Heatwave’ with John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; ‘Sunset Boulevard,’ and Patti LuPone Live.
“She is the author of the New York Times best seller Patti LuPone: A Memoir .”
SECOND OPINION: April 6th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/05/3758105/broadways-patti-lupone-appears.html.
The North Carolina Symphony presents PATTI LuPONE: COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA … PLAYED THAT ROLE at 8 p.m. April 11 and 12 in Meymandi Concert Hall in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
TICKETS: $35.50-$99.00 (including fees).
North Carolina Symphony Box Office: 877-627-6724, 919-733-2750, or http://www.ncsymphony.org/boxoffice.
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/804126.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-789-5505, email@example.com, or http://www.ncsymphony.org/groups.
SHOW: http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/index.cfm?view=details&viewref=calendar&detailid=1035&eid=1776 and https://www.facebook.com/events/227589707429852/.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/index.cfm?view=details&viewref=calendar&detailid=1035&eid=1776 (bottom of page).
POPS SERIES: http://www.ncsymphony.org/subscriptions/concerts.cfm?id=140.
PRESENTER: http://www.ncsymphony.org/, https://www.facebook.com/ncsymphony, and https://twitter.com/ncsymphony.
Patti LuPone (two-time Tony Award®-winning actress and singer): http://www.pattilupone.net/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=50271 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm526985/ (Internet Movie Database), http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/artist-bio.cfm?artist=413 (North Carolina Symphony bio), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patti_LuPone (Wikipedia).
William Henry Curry (resident conductor): http://www.ncsymphony.org/events/artist-bio.cfm?artist=162 (North Carolina Symphony bio).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail email@example.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)