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Patti LuPone: A Memoir
     

Patti LuPone: A Memoir

4.1 19
by Patti LuPone
 

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"I have been incredibly fortunate over the course of my career to have been associated with some extraordinary dramatic and musical productions, and also some rather spectacular disasters. Looking back, I can find gifts and life lessons in every one."

The legendary Patti LuPone is one of the theatre's most beloved leading ladies. Now she lays it all bare,

Overview

"I have been incredibly fortunate over the course of my career to have been associated with some extraordinary dramatic and musical productions, and also some rather spectacular disasters. Looking back, I can find gifts and life lessons in every one."

The legendary Patti LuPone is one of the theatre's most beloved leading ladies. Now she lays it all bare, sharing the intimate story of her life both onstage and off—through the dizzying highs and darkest lows—with the humor and outspokenness that have become her trademarks.

With nearly 100 photographs, including an 8-page four-color insert, and illuminating details about the life of a working actor, from inspired costars and demanding directors to her distinct perspective on how she developed and honed her Tony Award-winning performances, Patti LuPone: A Memoir is as inspirational as it is entertaining. And though the title might say "a memoir," this is ultimately a love letter to the theatre by a unique American artist.

Raised on Long Island's North Shore, Patti discovered her calling at the age of four and knew that she was destined for the stage. A prodigiously gifted child, she was one of only 36 young actors chosen for the inaugural class of The Juilliard School's Drama Division, where she fought near-constant criticism from her instructors, and here describes those early years with disarming frankness.

From the heady days of her early twenties—crisscrossing the country as a founding member of the classical repertory theatre ensemble, The Acting Company—to her early success on Broadway, her four-year stint as Libby Thacher on the television series Life Goes On, her loving marriage to Matt Johnston, and much, much more, Patti chronicles her professional and personal life with inimitable candor and wit.

With its insightful retrospective of her career-defining turns, both on Broadway and abroad, in Evita, Les Misérables, Anything Goes, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, and Gypsy, Patti LuPone: A Memoir reveals the artist's deeply felt passion for music and the theatre and is, in the end, the compelling and quintessential tale of an exceptional life well lived.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Broadway legend LuPone, a five-time Tony nominee and two-time Tony winner, raises the curtain on her life and career in this engaging memoir. Detailing both her travails and her triumphs, she takes the reader on a guided tour recalling some memorable moments in musical theater. She began in her teens when she and her twin brothers performed on Long Island as the LuPone Trio. On a 1968 scholarship at John Houseman's Juilliard Drama Division, she was "overwhelmed with fear," but then toured with Houseman's Acting Company from 1972 to 1976. After her 1973 Broadway debut in Three Sisters came a parade of awards and acclaimed performances (Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy), solo concerts, films (Driving Miss Daisy), TV (Oz, 30 Rock), recordings, and her one-woman show, Patti LuPone on Broadway . LuPone is the ultimate backstage gossip, and she never pulls her punches: During the ill-fated Baker's Wife, she despised actor Chaim Topol ("an asshole") and had little enthusiasm for his replacement, Paul Sorvino (‘'like having Howdy Doody at Auschwitz"). With razor-sharp memories and hundreds of colorful anecdotes, LuPone knows how to capture an audience. She makes an easy transition from stage to page, writing with wit, flamboyant energy, and a theatrical flair. (Sep. 14)
Library Journal
Though LuPone originated the role of Evita on Broadway and has starred in countless shows (e.g., Les Misérables; Sunset Boulevard) and won many awards (she swept the theater awards in 2008 for her version of Mama Rose in Gypsy), she is probably better known to general audiences for her television role as the mother in Life Goes On during the 1990s. She is a household name in theater circles, but major stardom has eluded her. She candidly recounts her life (she had a long-term relationship with actor Kevin Kline) and career and the struggles she endured as she was passed over for many lead roles. She comes across as feisty and opinionated, and she admits that playing Evita "gave me a reputation and a shadow of controversy that has followed me to this day." VERDICT This honest look at the trials and tribulations of making it as a Broadway star will be of interest to aspiring actors and those who love musical theater.—Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA
Charles Isherwood
Patti LuPone: A Memoir…represents no dazzling literary feat…although the workmanlike prose is enlivened with zesty infusions of gum-chewing New York humor…But nobody reads showbiz autobiographies to discover the next Proust. If a book rings true and shovels a sufficiency of dirt, revealing the pain and grit without quite dousing the glamour, we are satisfied. On both scores Ms. LuPone's book delivers. She comes across as a straight talker, a tireless worker and an occasional tantrum thrower and Valium taker.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
"Patti’s story had me from the moment I turned to page one of the prologue until the absolutely triumphant final chapter....She tells it like it is, warts and all. And by the time I finished reading the last chapter, I found myself giving Patti a standing ovation in the privacy of my very own living room."
–Carol Burnett

"In her autobiography, LuPone, with characteristic wit and theatrical humor, recounts her life story, both when she was feeling like Les Miserables and when everything was coming up roses."
Entertainment Weekly

"Every aspiring actor needs to read Patti LuPone's saga...In this book, she is hard-hitting, funny, candid, truthful and she bursts off the page as the same dynamo we often see onstage."
-Liz Smith, The Women on the Web

"Though personal and professional battles are charted, the tone is, like LuPone's conversational style, more chatty than catty, littered with earthy, often self-effacing humor...[A] mix of frankness and warmth."
USA Today

"Patti LuPone, with honesty and humor, gives a brave and candid account of an astonishingly unique and brilliant performer’s journey to reach Broadway stardom."
–Angela Lansbury

“1. Opening night on Broadway, of a play of mine, I looked backstage, at half hour, for Patti - to wish her well. I found her in costume, onstage, asleep on the set, on a kitchen table. She woke up and explained that she was having a ‘Sicilian Anxiety Attack.’

2. Doing a play Off-Broadway, the actress playing a smallish role had to leave the cast unexpectedly. I called Patti for condolence and she said ‘I finish EVITA tonight, get me the script and I'll go on tomorrow.’

3. Similar stories of whatever it is which surpasses excellence and perfection of friendship abound, but you get the idea. I love her. And I love her book.”
–David Mamet

"Anyone who has seen Patti LuPone perform on stage is well aware of her daring, risk-taking artistry. Now she has channeled her considerable talent from the stage to the page and the result is a frank, funny and totally captivating memoir about her life on and off the stage."
–Jane Fonda

"For some rare performers, there is a place beyond commercial success, popularity with audiences, and honors within an industry. A special place where they are both respected and adored—even envied—by other performers for their wealth of talent. These are actors who sing, as opposed to singers who act. They bring an actor’s range of thought about character and truth and psychology.  Among them, none has more talent, more courage, and more emotive power than Patti LuPone.  When Patti LuPone comes on stage, you don’t always know what will happen, but you know it will be among the greatest work by any stage actress in theatre, ever. Ever. As everyone in our business knows, Patti…is Patti."
–Alec Baldwin

“One way we differ from other countries is we have no history of royalty....except on Broadway.  Hail to the Queen!  I love you like a sister Patti, and your memoir is one befitting the majesty of who you are."
–Joe Mantegna

"Ms. LuPone's voice and passion come through loud and clear. The book contains the same no-holds-barred attitude with which she attacks a role."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Patti LuPone: A Memoir is a not-to-be-missed treat."
-Broadway.com

"This honest look at the trials and tribulations of making it as a Broadway star will be of interest to aspiring actors and those who love musical theater."
Library Journal

“Award-winning actress LuPone shares the story of her life in the theater in this intimate and frank memoir… Patti chronicles her professional and personal life with relish. LuPone’s many fans will appreciate the insightful look at her career-defining roles in Evita, Les Misérables, and more. In these sections, LuPone chronicles her process for achieving these iconic performances in great depth and offers a frank perspective on the often unseemly business side of the theatrical world… LuPone ultimately reveals her deeply felt passion for theater and music.”
Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307460738
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.19(d)

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What People are Saying About This

David Mamet
1. Opening night on Broadway, of a play of mine, I looked backstage, at half hour, for Patti - to wish her well. I found her in costume, onstage, asleep on the set, on a kitchen table. She woke up and explained that she was having a 'Sicilian Anxiety Attack.'
2. Doing a play Off-Broadway, the actress playing a smallish role had to leave the cast unexpectedly. I called Patti for condolence and she said 'I finish EVITA tonight, get me the script and I'll go on tomorrow.'
3. Similar stories of whatever it is which surpasses excellence and perfection of friendship abound, but you get the idea. I love her. And I love her book.
Jane Fonda
Anyone who has seen Patti LuPone perform on stage is well aware of her daring, risk-taking artistry. Now she has channeled her considerable talent from the stage to the page and the result is a frank, funny and totally captivating memoir about her life on and off the stage.

Meet the Author

Patti LuPone swept the 2008 theater awards winning the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Rose in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of the classic musical Gypsy. LuPone has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award, has won two Grammy awards, and has numerous film, television, and on- and off-Broadway stage credits to her name. A five-time Tony nominee and two-time winner, LuPone was the first American actor to win Britain's Olivier Award.

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Patti LuPone: A Memoir 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
MattCH More than 1 year ago
Whether you're a dedicated fan or have just a passing interest in show business stories, this book is one that will not soon be forgotten. It is a generous show of a gratitude for successes, a bitter meditation on regret, an honest examination of ego and shortfalls of confidence, and a spectacular story of defying odds and critics to get to the top. The conversational way that it's written allows the reader to tear through it like a mystery novel with huge anticipation to find out what's coming on the next page. This is a book I will never forget.
simokaye More than 1 year ago
If you are involved in show business, and, like the rest of us, bow down to Mrs. Patti LuPone, you MUST read this memoir. As a reader, you are taken through every step of Patti’s career- the good, the bad, and the ugly. This phenomenal memoir gives you an all-access pass to Patti’s life while also providing inspiration and expressing an immense amount of passion, perseverance and gratitude for her career. As an actress myself, I was immediately immersed in the memoir because of LuPone’s incredible insight when it comes to all things theatre- backstage, onstage, and everything in between. The trials and tribulations of her lengthy career take you on a roller coaster ride through the relentlessly beautiful world of show business. The way Patti’s memoir is written is so conversational and personal it seems as if you’re having a chat with the diva herself in your own living room. Because of this, the reader feels connected to Patti. Another reason for this connection is that there is NO sugarcoating within a 25 mile radius of a single page, making Patti so relatable and truthful to the reader. Everything in theatre is not sunshine and rainbows, and she makes sure not to cover that fact up. She is definitely a sensational mega star of the theatre, but, underneath, Patti is still just another human being that was (and still is) presented with many challenges having to do with her education, career, health, and family to get where she is today. This is something everyone can relate to. Nobody that is successful just glides through life without hitting frustrating obstacles, making difficult decisions, and pushing through the tough situations they have no control of. Patti’s undying dedication and strength causes you to root for her every step of the way. As a previous reviewer said, this memoir is definitely a page-turner. I unintentionally read this cover to cover much too quickly for my own liking. The triumphant final chapter somehow leaves you both overwhelmingly satisfied but wanting a sequel at the same time. In case you didn’t already get the message, BUY THIS BOOK. As always, Patti will not fail to meet your expectations
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DisappointedinPA More than 1 year ago
What a great ride this book is! A classy lady and inspiration to anyone who ever thinks 'It's not worth ir'. Patti proves that if you love what you do, even so great a poobah aa ALW can't ran outyour parade. I wiah there waa a sequel.
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colaboy More than 1 year ago
I read this book right after finishing Kristin Chenowith's autobiography, and these two ladies are in the same profession but are totally different. And the thing that hit me is how Patti comes off as a total theater diva and has no qualms about it. A fascinating read about a powerful name in entertainment.
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