From her dressing room at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre where she is currently playing the role of Mrs. Lovett in the hit production of Sweeney Todd, the incomparable Patti LuPone talks to Michael J. Roberts about her newly released CD "The Lady with the Torch", her upcoming May 22, 2006 concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS, and her return this summer to the Ravinia Festival where she will be portraying Mamma Rose in GYPSY.
MJR: Hello Ms. LuPone, thank you for talking with us at BroadwayWorld.Com. How was the show today?
PL: It was great! This is one of the best experiences of my life.
MJR: I saw Sweeney Todd opening night and was blown away by you and your tuba playing. All the performances are remarkable, but as usual, you are just amazing.
PL: Well thank you for being such a fan Michael.
MJR: We just picked up a copy of your new CD, "The Lady with the Torch." It is brilliant!
PL: Oh thanks...thank you very much.
MJR: Can you tell us about the May 22nd concert.
PL: Sure. The concert is a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre and we will feature songs from my new C.D.
MJR: Let's talk about The Lady and the Torch. I was listening to the C.D. and the musicians that you picked are just incredible!
PL: I know. That's why I'm so proud of this album. We have found ten of the most incredible musicians!
MJR: I heard that you initially wanted to do a Bluegrass record?
PL: That's right.
MJR: And instead you got talked into doing these torch songs. (laughing)
PL: Yes. We did this project with just piano initially, but we had a Carnegie Hall booking and so we started a new show. With the Carnegie booking, we knew that we couldn't do it with just piano. So we got Jonathan Tunick involved when we finally decided what songs we were singing. Jonathan did the orchestrations and Seymour "Red" Press, came up with and contracted these phenomenal musicians.
MJR: Are the original musicians going to be playing at the May 22nd benefit concert with you?