Patti LuPone joins Fox Valley Symphony for 'Far Away Places'

November 1, 2013

Cheryl Anderson

Post Crescent

Patti LuPone is one busy lady.
The Broadway star and two-time Tony Award-winning actress is performing at venues across the country, filming her role as Joan Ramsey on the TV series “American Horror Story” and another role for the new season of the HBO’s “Girls,” and she’s getting ready for a Nov. 7 concert at Carnegie Hall.
In the midst of all that, she’ll make a stop in Appleton Friday to perform with the Fox Valley Symphony. This is only the second time the first act of “Far Away Places with Patti LuPone” will be performed in front of an audience.
It was quite the coup for the symphony to secure LuPone, who was looking for an orchestra to do a test run of the first act before her Carnegie Hall appearance, according to symphony executive director Rosie Cannizzo.
“It’s an honor and a thrill for us to work with an artist of Patti LuPone’s stature,” Cannizzo said. “She brings extraordinary talent and fierce commitment to every performance, and we absolutely can’t wait to be a part of that experience. It’s going to be a fantastic night for us, and for everyone in the concert hall.”
LuPone, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Patti LuPone A Memoir,” most recently appeared on Broadway in David Mamet’s “The Anarchist” and in the new musical “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” for which she was nominated for several awards, including a Tony. Television audiences will remember her on ABC’s “Life Goes On,” which aired from 1989 to 1993.
With “Far Away Places,” LuPone said she was looking to do something new for her fourth solo concert. Plus, it feeds on her own wanderlust.
“I love to travel,” she said by telephone. “So this is just a way of expressing my desire. And there are so many songs that are written about places, and I wanted to sing Weill, Kurt Weill, and my director Scott Wittman is brilliant at mining new songs and then interpolating and creating a show.”
Songs LuPone will perform include “Come to the Supermarket (In Old Peking)” by Cole Porter, “I Wanna Be Around” by Johnny Mercer, “Nights on Broadway” by the Bee Gees and “September Song” by Weill and Maxwell Anderson.
LuPone said she doesn’t take the journey she’s on for granted.
“I am blessed with a voice and I am able to sing on concert stages and nightclubs, and I can act in television, film and on the stage,” she said. “I am really lucky.”
It’s often said that it’s hard for women of a certain age to get acting roles, but LuPone said it hasn’t been the case for her.
“I think it’s because I stayed on stage through the rough years, the 40s and 50s,” she said. “Once you hit 60 it’s a different thing. But I stayed on the stage for a majority of my career, and I can sing so I could continue working.”
It’s been said LuPone has a bigger-than-life persona. She readily agrees.
“I’m Italian; it’s the answer to everything right there,” she said. “The family was loud, the family was boisterous, the family laughed a lot, the family found a lot. That’s sort of the Italian nature. I think Italians tend to be larger than life. I’ll tell you what it is: we’re not American. We’re Italian and Italians are much more expressive with their hands, with their voices, with their emotions and it has gotten me in trouble. It’s the makeup. It’s the DNA. That’s who I am. When I’m in Italy walking around, it’s like I make perfect sense here.”

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