Patti LuPone Live!
A full-fledged Broadway musical star in an age when that kind of stardom does not transfer automatically to any other area of entertainment, Patti LuPone, whose stage credits included Evita, Les Miserables, and Anything Goes, was coming out of four non-singing years on the TV drama Life Goes On when she performed the series of live performances excerpted here at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles in January 1993. (At the top of the show, she announced that she was leaving for London to perform in Sunset Boulevard, an experience that would prove both a career debacle and a financial windfall when Andrew Lloyd Webber broke her contract to open the show on Broadway, opting for the bigger name Glenn Close.) Naturally, the anchors of the act were the songs with which she was associated through her stage triumphs: "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Anything Goes," "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and "I Dreamed a Dream." But her dramatic skills and clarion voice proved well suited to a wide range of other theater material, especially songs written by Kurt Weill, such as a medley of "My Ship" from Lady in the Dark and "Surabaya Johnny" from Happy End, and the encore, "Lost in the Stars." She also handled well period pop, such as the Billy Strayhorn standard "Lush Life" and the Louis Jordan classic "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," though the choices of contemporary pop, while well sung, were less impressive. This was as much an act as a concert, with written patter that made it suitable for nightclubs, even if it was unnecessary on disc. Nevertheless, the album made an excellent introduction to a major performer who remained a kind of an international secret.