The Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre honors esteemed stage actress Patti LuPone with the company's third Stephen Sondheim Award. The award, established in 2009 in honor of America's most influential contemporary musical theater writer and composer, will be presented at a black-tie Gala Benefit tonight, April 16, 2012 at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC. Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer said, "I am thrilled that Patti LuPone will be this year's recipient of the Stephen Sondheim Award. With her wonderful performances in Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, Company, Passion, and more - she has had an amazing connection to Steve's words and music. It's wonderful to add her name to the distinguished honorees Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters."
LuPone, a two-time Tony Award®-winner, has appeared in numerous Sondheim works, including Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and most recently in Gypsy in 2008, where she garnered a Tony Award®, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and Drama League Award for her portrayal of Rose. She returns to the Broadway stage this November in An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.
Stephen Sondheim stated, "There are few performers who can play both Mrs. Lovett and Fosca, Evita and Reno Sweeney, Nancy in Oliver! and Cora Hoover Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle, and still create roles for David Mamet. In fact, there's only one. Versatility of such a high caliber is rare indeed, and therefore it couldn't be more appropriate that the recipient of this year's Signature Theatre Sondheim Award is going to the best tuba player on Broadway: Patti LuPone."
Patti LuPone's most recent stage credits include creating the role of Lucia in the musical Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown (Tony Award® nomination) and appearing as Joanne in the New York Philharmonic's concert production of Stephen Sondheim's Company. In May 2011, Miss LuPone made her debut with the New York City Ballet in their production of Weill and Brecht's The Seven Deadly Sins. She swept the 2008 theatre awards winning the Tony®, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her performance in the classic Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy.
In 2007, Miss LuPone made her debut with the LA Opera in Weill and Brecht's Mahagonny (directed by John Doyle), and the next year starred in the world premiere of Jake Heggie's new opera To Hell and Back (with San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra). She also starred as Mrs. Lovett in John Doyle's award-winning Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (which earned her a Tony® Award nomination), the title role in Marc Blitzstein's Regina, a musical version of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center), and a multi-city tour of her solo theatrical concert Matters of the Heart.