John Houseman once said that Patti LuPone exudes the “smell of the gallows,” but for one gay Jewish boy from Los Angeles, the star was nothing less than a lifeline. LuPone, famed for playing blistering, brutal Broadway divas, became an obsession for theater artist Ben Rimalower when the teen was struggling with his parents’ divorce, his father’s traumatic coming out, and his own coming of age.
In “Patti Issues,” directed by Aaron Mark, Rimalower charts a rocky, bi-coastal, but ultimately exultant journey from LuPone fan to LuPone friend and collaborator.
Patinkin shines (too brightly?) in uneven concert with LuPone.
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He seems capable of anything, this dashing man with the magical, mellifluous voice. The compulsively watchable Mandy Patinkin, back on Broadway in a concert of show tunes with Patti LuPone, is ever the master entertainer. If only Patinkin’s outsize ego did not practically crowd his costar off the stage. LuPone fans, take note. The much ballyhooed “An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin” is mostly, and most memorably, an evening with the latter.