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Where does Patti LuPone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It's a good listen – and essential if you work in, or have any passion for, theatre in general and musical theatre in particular.
What other book might you compare Patti LuPone to, and why?
Seth Rudetsky's Broadway Nights – a novel which plays on the neuroses and obsessions of musical theatre actors for comedy, but which LuPone reveals aren't all that far from the truth.
Which character – as performed by Patti LuPone – was your favourite?
Well, it's an autobiography, so I'd have to say "herself".
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Her recitation of her professional life starts out interesting, but a little dry. And then it gets to her involvement with Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Really Useful Group when she is cast as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. Then the claws come out, the blood pressure raises and you won't believe that any company could act so cavalierly towards its star.
OK so I admit upfront I am a massive musicals fan so perhaps I was always going to live this - but then if you are not a musicals fan then you wouldn't be considering buying this anyway, right?
This 'memoir' is a story of a truly amazing career on the stage told by Patti herself. In all honesty, I was only aware of Patti as a somewhat legendary diva, someone with a ferocious anger and that is difficult to work with; as Patti addresses herself, this is the pre-conception many have of her. BUT what this book does is give you is a real insight into what an amazing lady this is. Yes she has a temper, but what is clear is that this temper comes from nothing but utter passion for her craft - ACTING - not singing, but ACTING. The singing is something in which Patti has invested so much to master, and master she has, while is it the telling of story on the stage and her growth as a performer that has driven much of her career.
You get utterly wonderful, funny stories from her incredibly varied career, from plays to musicals to films and back to plays and musical again. What I found SO exciting was that Patti has chapters dedicated to her experiences in some of the most iconic musicals of all time, both on Broadway and in the West End (there are chapters on Evita, Les Mis, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy to name a few).
What makes this book EXTRA special is that Patti really doesn't hold back! I had no idea of the controversies, difficulties, personal traumas, egos, back-stabbing, grudges and down-right disasters that went on in the world of musicals; Patti's discussion of her experiences with Sunset (and more specifically Andrew Lloyd Webber) are just so insightful, I had no idea...you must read this!
Patti reads this audiobook herself, which adds so much. She has a bit of an odd delivery, at first sounding peculiar and stuttery - but I suspect this is a product of trying to annunciate as clearly as possible - by Chapter 2 you are so engrossed you won't care! Seriously READ THIS!
This is well written and excellently narrated by LuPone. Fans of her performances, career, and celebrity persona will love it. Fellow actors will probably appreciate it, as she clearly establishes herself as an actor who has paid her dues and is worth her salt. Those who do not enjoy her regularly probably should avoid this, but her fans will enjoy this well crafted glimpse into her life. I couldn't stop listening!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Being a fan Patti LuPone I had anticipated this book since Patti had announced she was writing her autobiography a year or so ago, I had intended to only buy the hardcover edition but when Amazon launched Audible.com I thought "what the hell" and bought the audio version too. I'm so glad I did. Patti brings life to her story of her roller-coaster ride of a career--with enough thrilling curves and dips that you'll want to take that ride with her.
Celebrity autobiographies can often be very egocentric reads with the author looking down upon the reader "look what I have done, look where I have been"--in essence, real snooze fests, Fortunately, Ms. LuPone never does that-she speaks to us in that "you see what you get" attitude. Her story is punctuated with painstaking honesty and self-effacing humor peppered with a few well-placed expletives thrown in for good measure. Like many readers I initially bought "Patti LuPone:A Memoir" because I wanted to hear her thoughts on her star-making role in "Evita" to her being unceremoniously dumped from "Sunset Boulevard", but I found every chapter just as interesting as Patti recounts early years on Northport Long Island, through Julliard, her first tastes with success and failure to her landing the coveted role of Evita Peron. Her memoir or rather, she speaks volumes on why she become an actor, her wise and unwise career choices, the thrill of live theatre, the backstage battles, the sacrifice of a personal life, the joy of acting and the love of a live audience all rolled into one big nutshell. If you can't make it to Broadway its nice to know "Patti LuPone: A Memoir" can bring a bit of it to you.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful