Patti LuPone Tells All

The day after my birthday, I went to The Wallis in Beverly Hills to see BOTH shows by Patti LuPone and Seth Rudetsky.  Patti was in spectacular voice – in fact, she was even better the second show.  Since it was days after the Grammys, she told the story behind her appearance in the tribute to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Before she started, she said, “Is there any press in the audience?  I dunno if I should tell this story if there’s press in the audience.”  After a bit of prodding, she said, “Just don’t print it….oh, go ahead, what the hell,” followed by “No, don’t”.  So, I’m taking that as a yes.  When War Paint was on BroadwayNY1 (a local channel) did a piece on their Sunday morning program about the show.  When the interviewer asked Patti about Lloyd Webber, she said that she thought Andrew was mentally unstable.  Within days, she got a cease-and-desist letter from famed lawyer Bert Fields – who has represented such sane people as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.  She consulted with a lawyer who told her that she could legally express her opinion, so she was in the clear.  Then Lloyd Webber got involved and said it didn’t bother him.  Fast forward a month, and Patti gets a call from her manager saying the Grammys wanted her to sing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”.  Patti’s response was, “Does Andrew Lloyd Webber know?  If he doesn’t, don’t tell him!”  The manager said Andrew knows, and he’s thrilled!  So maybe he is mentally unstable (interestingly enough, he just admitted to considering suicide three times during bouts of depression).  Back to Patti – they had a nice rehearsal (she says when she said the word “détente”, she meant it would last one day – like a day-tente).  After the show, Andy sent her a very nice note and also left her a complimentary voicemail.  Why Andrew Lloyd Webber has Patti LuPone’s phone number and I don’t is a mystery of monumental proportions.

Typically, Seth gets Patti to sing different songs when they do back-to-back shows.  This time, there was quite a bit of duplication.  The exceptions tended to be the highlights.  In the first show, we got “As Long As He Needs Me” from Oliver, and “Ladies Who Lunch” from the upcoming gender-bender London production of Company, where Patti will play Joanne.  Most people hoped for a surprise appearance from Mandy Patinkin since days earlier, Patti was a special guest when he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Alas, Mandy was a no-show at the concert.  But the swoonable Peter Gallagher joined Patti for “Old Fashioned Wedding” from Annie Get Your Gun (which they did in concert at Lincoln Center in 1998).  In the second show, we got “Meadowlark”, “Anything Goes”, the Magaldi duet and “Buenos Aires” (assisted by Adam Hunter) , and “Being Alive”.

Since it was Valentine’s Day, many couples turned up for Patti.  At the first show, Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle were there, as were newlyweds Gary Janetti and Brad Goreski.  For the second show, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his hubby Justin Mikita showed up, as were our soon-to-be West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and my husband, porn legend Kurt Young.  After everything was over, I bumped into Noah Wyle with a woman on each arm.  And all I could think about was when I first started writing this column, I talked about Noah taking a trip across Europe with his male friend and implied (in that innocent way that I have) that perhaps they were more than “friends”.  In the National Enquirer, Noah called me “that gossipmonger”.  So seeing him made my heart go pitter-pat.

Seth returns to The Wallis on March 29th for two shows with Chita Rivera.  Grab your tickets now at

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