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Patti LuPone: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Patti Lupone
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

“I have been incredibly fortunate over the course of my career to have been associated with some extraordinary dramatic and musical productions, and also some rather spectacular disasters. Looking back, I can find gifts and life lessons in every one.”

The legendary Patti LuPone is one of the theatre’s most beloved leading ladies. Now she lays it all bare, sharing the intimate story of her life both onstage and off--through the dizzying highs and darkest lows--with the humor and outspokenness that have become her trademarks.

With nearly 100 photographs, including an 8-page four-color insert, and illuminating details about the life of a working actor, from inspired costars and demanding directors to her distinct perspective on how she developed and honed her Tony Award–winning performances, Patti LuPone: A Memoir is as inspirational as it is entertaining. And though the title might say “a memoir,” this is ultimately a love letter to the theatre by a unique American artist.

Raised on Long Island’s North Shore, Patti discovered her calling at the age of four and knew that she was destined for the stage. A prodigiously gifted child, she was one of only 36 young actors chosen for the inaugural class of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division, where she fought near-constant criticism from her instructors, and here describes those early years with disarming frankness.

From the heady days of her early twenties—crisscrossing the country as a founding member of the classical repertory theatre ensemble, The Acting Company--to her early success on Broadway, her four-year stint as Libby Thacher on the television series Life Goes On, her loving marriage to Matt Johnston, and much, much more, Patti chronicles her professional and personal life with inimitable candor and wit.
With its insightful retrospective of her career-defining turns, both on Broadway and abroad, in Evita, Les Misérables, Anything Goes, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, and Gypsy, Patti LuPone: A Memoir reveals the artist’s deeply felt passion for music and the theatre and is, in the end, the compelling and quintessential tale of an exceptional life well lived.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Carol Burnett Reviews Patti LuPone: A Memoir

Carol Burnett is an American actress, comedienne, singer, dancer, and writer. Read her review of Patti LuPone: A Memoir:

Patti's story had me from the moment I turned to page one of the prologue until the absolutely triumphant final chapter. The passion with which she writes about the theatre and her love of it found me, at various times, crying and laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed her backstage tales that were both victorious and horror-filled. The lady pulls no punches in describing her most humiliating moments, such as the backstabbing that unfortunately happens all too often in this business. She recreates her failures and even includes quotes from her worst reviews. She writes about her loves and losses without a tone of self-pity. The chapter about her struggles with bringing Evita to life gave me goose bumps. It was definitely not an easy journey. She persevered and that role made her a bona fide Broadway star. The chapter about the backstage goings on during the production of Sunset Boulevard are even more harrowing. The fact that she could take such slings and still remain standing is proof that this is a woman of great strength and grit...and talent. God gave her the gifts of being able to brilliantly bring characters to life onstage. She’s a wonderful actress...and, oh yes, she can sing like nobody’s business. This is a heartfelt memoir that exposes Patti’s innermost feelings, fervor, temper, and humor. There’s no "censorship." She tells it like it is, warts and all. And by the time I finished reading the last chapter, I found myself giving Patti a standing ovation in the privacy of my very own living room.

From Publishers Weekly

Broadway legend LuPone, a five-time Tony nominee and two-time Tony winner, raises the curtain on her life and career in this engaging memoir. Detailing both her travails and her triumphs, she takes the reader on a guided tour recalling some memorable moments in musical theater. She began in her teens when she and her twin brothers performed on Long Island as the LuPone Trio. On a 1968 scholarship at John Houseman's Juilliard Drama Division, she was "overwhelmed with fear," but then toured with Houseman's Acting Company from 1972 to 1976. After her 1973 Broadway debut in Three Sisters came a parade of awards and acclaimed performances (Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy), solo concerts, films (Driving Miss Daisy), TV (Oz, 30 Rock), recordings, and her one-woman show, Patti LuPone on Broadway . LuPone is the ultimate backstage gossip, and she never pulls her punches: During the ill-fated Baker's Wife, she despised actor Chaim Topol ("an asshole") and had little enthusiasm for his replacement, Paul Sorvino ( ÿ'like having Howdy Doody at Auschwitz"). With razor-sharp memories and hundreds of colorful anecdotes, LuPone knows how to capture an audience. She makes an easy transition from stage to page, writing with wit, flamboyant energy, and a theatrical flair.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2056 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307460746
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 14, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003EI2EG8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating memoir, great audio performance September 25, 2010
The extravagantly talented Patti Lupone shows that she is as sparkling a memoirist (with Digby Diehl as collaborator) as she is an actress. If you love theater, acting, or Patti Lupone herself, you need to buy this book - and get it ON AUDIO. Lupone doesn't simply read the memoir, she PERFORMS it, and as in her best stage, TV and movie performances, she will move you to tears and laughter. She shares the good, the bad and the ugly from a career that started when she performed as a child with her brothers, and spans some of the high points of the Broadway and London stages. She also settles a few scores (Andrew Lloyd Webber, ahem) and provides insights into the art and craft of theater. A fascinating memoir from an American treasure, and a great audiobook experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, For What It Is - Fast and Juicy! October 7, 2010
I listened to the audio book, read by Patti, which I think is the best way to go. She's a little distanced and seems to be concentrating on enunciation (always an effort for "Flannel Mouth"), but when she gets into a good story, she utterly lets go and it's like listening to her live.

This is very much a stage memoir. It's told show-to-show. You get the high points of her personal life (marriage, having a child), but 95% of it is about theatrical experiences and the people specifically involved. She's very honest. At times you feel like she might have glossed over some dirt (vague allusions to her being a "dirty girl" and such), but when she lets loose she doesn't spare tact. One of my favorite lines is to Andrew Lloyd Webber: "Go sh@t in your hat!" Topol, Paul Sorvino, Bill Smitrovich (her "husband" on Life Goes On) and others get some no-holds-barred choice words from Patti. Delightful dish!

On the other hand, she's kind of a whiner. If you put yourself in the place of an actor, and really think about it, a contract is really all you have to stand by. The industry is HEAVILY regulated by the unions, etc, and it's vital to honor contracts and hold with labor laws to a tee otherwise the whole experience just falls apart. However, even from her own mouth, she makes herself sound petulant and entitled...and spends a LOT of time discussing contract breaches. You just have to remember that this is her life, her profession. She really comes off as a diva, but when you think about it she kind of has to. I just hope other readers think it through and aren't put off by her.

Factual note...she complains that Barbra Streisand recorded "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" before her, and that it was released "for all to hear" before the Evita album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diva On Stage and Off October 9, 2010
Patti LuPone has a tough act to follow. After appearing as the quintessential Evita, the tarnished Norma Desmond, the bitterly wonderful Mrs. Lovett, and the take-no-prisoner Mama Rose,it's a wonder that LuPone could even manage to come close to one of those iconic characters. Not only does she do it, she does it in spades, in her ultimately fascinating tell-all memoir.

I've been a fan of Ms. LuPone for many years now, entranced by the power of her voice, especially in the aforementioned roles. She dominates the stage with her presence and her pipes, and leaves no stone unturned, nor no note unhit, in any given performance. After reading her recounting of her life, author can be added to the mix. LuPone's book is a fun romp through her life, never dwelling too long on specific events (save her Evita and Norma Desmond stints). Even her bout with breast cancer is discussed and mentioned within the span of a few pages. LuPone is one to tell the details, but never dwell in them.

Because of this, the book is a quick read. Interestingly, the weakest part of the story occurs early in her career, as she talks about her start in show business and the ride through Julliard and several companies before landing some major roles. However, as soon as Peron comes into her life, the book strengthens, and then begins to hit home runs during her ill-fated Sunset Boulevard times. When she wraps up the book with her stories of the revival of Gypsy, my heart ached for two reasons One, I wanted more from writing from her, and second, I wanted to see her performance in Gypsy (I have to settle on You Tube snippets).

One thing I so appreciated was Lupone's honesty, both directed at herself as well as colleagues.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, if only part of the story ... December 27, 2010
By Mimi
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love Patti. Love her! I looked forward to reading this memoir, fully understanding "memoir" means remembered, i.e., it was going to be carefully told and not completely factual, perhaps ... but there's more left out than put in! I'm completely willing to forgive Patti's foibles, but she won't admit to them. So it was an interesting read, because I'm already a fan; but overall it was also a let-down, because I know things about her, as a fan will, that she glossed over or skipped entirely and it made me wonder what I *didn't* know that she also skipped. Much too short for such a fabulous, intrigue-packed life. A used copy will suffice, or borrow or lend your copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patti LuPone: A Memior October 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful read!!! Patti wrote this bio the same way she performs on stage...she gave her all
& I think those of us fortunate enough to have seen her dazzle us with her performance knew she held nothing
back & we were a party to something very very special. In her very honest book she left nothing out & the reader
is privy to life behind the curtain. Its not all applause & awards & the difficult times make for a very
interesting & very quick read.

Throughout the book I felt she was talking to me-not at me, as many bios seem to do-but telling me a
very interesting story that included not only the high points of a star's life, but that there were also many
low points over the years. She does a very good job in writing about the bumps in her career & how they took
their toll on her...both personally & professionally. When I finished the book, one of my thoughts was that
she was able to overcome thse setbacks & difficulties & somehow she never quit & she managed to become a stronger &
maybe a better person for it. In these difficult times it is something we all can do if we try.

I have been fortunate enough to have seen Patti perform in a many different venues & roles & walked away from
them all amazed at her enormous talent & almost unlimited energy. In Evita one of the songs has the 2 words
"star quality". From that moment on that defined, to me, Patti LuPone. She has a star quality that can't be learned
or practiced. Its just there & very few performers have it. Her book has that same star quality & it is such an
interesting & quick read that you hate for it to end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars with her tears of joy and pain to the Broadway productions
This book will take with her laugher ,with her tears of joy and pain to the Broadway productions.I was one of the lucky ones to get see her to perform,Evita the way she sang is... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Thelma
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Love her truth and reality of the theater!
Every actor must read

Doesn't get more real than this.
Enjoy the journey
Published 1 month ago by Stefano Lorenzo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fascinating read.
Published 2 months ago by Stanley Ransom
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't disappoint
LuPone is one of my favorite performers and in this memoir she gives a no holds barred look at her life from aspiring teenager to full-fledged star. Totally enjoyed it.
Published 5 months ago by Lyric
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting but too much raving going on.
Published 7 months ago by sdecesare
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Looking Over Patti's Shoulder
I love my LuPone fixes, and her talent, candor an humor come front and center in this memoir. Read it!
Published 10 months ago by The Way To Wellness
5.0 out of 5 stars Comical, Clever, and All Around an Easy Read
Reading this book is like having a drink in some random bar with Patti as she talks about her life. Very casual and personal with lots of very comical moments. Read more
Published 11 months ago by manofsteel7890
5.0 out of 5 stars Haven't atarted it yet, I'm sure I will love it.
I love biographies, and feel that they are always a good read. I have enjoyed all the ones that I have gotten through amazon. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gail. B
3.0 out of 5 stars A one of a kind stage and screen star BUT
She seemed to use this book as means to get back at people who she perceived to have stepped on her toes. She comes off unlikeable in many instances in this book. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Doug Characky
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative
I would recommend it to space aliens to make it more of the culture of the United States and France.
Published 17 months ago by Anon
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