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Patti LuPone: A Memoir

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,448 ratings  ·  217 reviews
“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 intim
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2010)
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Neil Schleifer
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
LuPone offers a dishy backstage memoir that echoes her onstage persona perfectly. As with most memoirs, she conveniently remembers things that make her look good, and others look like villains. In short, it's as much fiction as it is non-fiction.

Among those she trashes her Bill Smitrovitch, her co-star on LIFE GOES ON, running the gamut of simple distaste (she says they had no chemistry) to outright vulgarity (she calls him a douchebag). She never DOES tell us what he said or did to elicit such
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
I feel the need to preface this by saying that I've never been an enormous Patti LuPone fan. I'm not familiar with Evita beyond "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and I'm not familiar with Gypsy at all. However, I do love her on the cast recordings from Anything Goes and Sweeney Todd, and it was such a treat to see her in American Horror Story: Coven. And somehow, being the Les Miserables freak that I am, I was unaware that she originated Fantine in the West End. WHAT EVEN.

I'm also familiar with her r
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Insightful behind the scenes memoir from one of Broadway's powerhouse performers. To hear Ms. Lupone recount in her own voice her triumphs and tumults enhances the listening experience. One anecdote had me laughing out loud during her London Sunset Boulevard run as she races to make her curtain call. Her re-enactment is priceless and pure Patti. But you have to listen to her tell it (disc 6; track 4). You won't get the full effect from reading it.
V. Briceland
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's tough for anyone not actively sharing a stage with the diminutive star to determine whether Patti LuPone is as difficult to work with as her reputation would have it. Too often, 'difficult' is a label applied not only to entitled divas of both genders, but also to artists who dare to protest when wrongly abused by directors or producers and their sometimes shady money-making tactics.

After reading LuPone's memoir, however, it's tough to want to side with anyone other than the woman who orig
Theo Chen
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Patti LuPwned.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Criticism has come out about this memoir exploiting "diva-like" behavior. I didn't read it that way at all. In no way is Patti LuPone a "diva". She is someone with a backbone who will stand up against someone treating her unfairly...most specifically in this memoir, Broadway king Andrew Lloyd Webber.

LuPone does not gloss over anything, beginning with Juilliard and her romance with fellow student, Kevin Kline. From Evita to Sunset Boulevard, to Sweeney Todd to Gypsy, LuPone has seen it all and sp
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
It takes Patti LuPone all of three pages in her memoir before she starts complimenting herself. She states that for decades (decades!) people of all kinds had been telling her she simply had to play the character of Mama Rose in "Gypsy." That she was perfect for it, born for it. When I read this to my boyfriend, he responded "Yeah, I have no doubt people told her that, because just like Mama Rose, Patti LuPone is a monster who doesn't see herself as a monster." Truer words have never been spoken ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oct 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Only die-hard theater nerds will probably be interested in this memoir. I think I am eligible because I distinctly remember performing numbers from LuPone's Irving Berlin album "Heatwave" in the back room of our house when I was 12.

The ghost-written celebrity memoir is a special animal, not often read for its groundbreaking narrative arc or use of lilting prose. The writing style here is especially grating--apart from some of LuPone's signature sarcasm, the language here is rather boring and uni
David Jay
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Where is the line between "diva" and "entitled bey-otch?" I am fascinated by the idea that just because someone has a talent that they are beyond the limits of acceptable adult behavior. So when Lupone finds out that she is not going with "Sunset Boulevard" to Broadway, that they have decided to go with the huge (at the time) movie star Glenn Close, who has gotten raves for the role in LA, instead of Lupone, who has gotten mixed reviews in London, she thinks it is appropriate to trash her dressi ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Patti LuPone, one of the theatre's leading ladies, writes an insightful retrospective of her career, with details about the life of a working actor, from inspired costars and demanding directors to her perspective on how she developed and honed her award-winning performances.

I have been a fan of Patti Lupone for years. Evita is one of my all-time favorite cast albums and I loved her work in Sunset Boulevard, Sweeney Todd, and Gypsy. I knew she had a reputation for being difficult, but I always f
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This is a pretty good memoir for the most part. I wish I could have the chance to see this talented woman on stage live. I have heard of her for decades and her long career on stage and film. Patti LuPone is very honest about her career the good and the bad. She writes about her experiences on stage in the many musicals and plays she has acted in and also her movies and tv appearances.
She is not shy about writing about the bad experiences as well such as her time during Sunset blvd. and feelin
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
While I am obviously a huge Broadway fan, I can't say I'm a huge Patti devotee. I mean, I think she's been amazing in some things, but I don't kneel at her altar. However, a few months ago I heard her tell a few snippets of stories on Alec Baldwin's podcast, and I knew I had to finally read this memoir (I'd picked it up a couple of years ago as a free or $0.99 Kindle sale). I'm very glad I did - what a delicious and delightful read. She does not hold back (at one point she was talking about a so ...more
Victoria Weinstein
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
There is such a relentless tone of misery and insecurity in LuPone's remembrances it destroyed any sense of delight I would have gained sharing so much theatrical history with this first lady of the Broadway stage.
LuPone is a dedicated artist with a certain degree of wisdom earned through experience, but she's not very bright. She is not a pleasant person with whom a reader relishes spending hours in recollection. LuPone's writing is like her singing: she has a tendency to shriek. There is a se
Neil Shurley
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had such a great time listening to this. Ms. LuPone is, unsurprisingly, a fantastic narrator. Her stories are heartfelt and truthful - even when they don’t always reflect that well on her - and I appreciate her honesty and depth. It’s also filled with humor, accentuated by her personality as she reads. What a performance. What a show.
Tena Edlin
A Broadway legend. A goddess among mere mortals. A sassy broad who clawed her way to the top. One of my all-time favorites.
Rod-Kelly Hines
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned
Perfect little breather from the fiction train
Collin Kelley
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Patti LuPone was the original Evita on Broadway, originated the role of Fantine in Les Misérables and redefined the iconic stage mother, Rose, in Gypsy. In other words, she’s musical theatre royalty.

I love theatre, but I’m not a huge fan of musicals – unless LuPone is involved. With apologies to Madonna, Elaine Paige and anyone else who has played Eva Peron, they simply pale in comparison to LuPone. Listen to her on the original London cast recording of Sunset Boulevard and Glenn Close also fall
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think that I will always be a musical theatre junkie. Though I have left that magical world for the vast ignominies of pursuing a career in teaching(hey, i'm just being realistic, any teacher knows that 80% of your time will be spent wondering what you are doing), I could never leave the theatre behind. Patti LuPone is my all-time favorite leading lady next to Julie Andrews. This was cemented once I heard her in the John Doyle revival of "Sweeney Todd." And of course, there's Gypsy and Anythin ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Patti LuPone, and I have greatly admired her for a few years now, and I'm not sure how I didn't get around to reading this before now. I love that she exposed not only her greatest triumphs in theater, but also her greatest hurts. I can't wait to see her on stage in War Paint next month.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of memoirs at all and will typically only read one by a person I find truly fascinating or have a fascinating story. Patti LuPone fills the criteria for both.

I've been a huge fan of this larger than life Broadway star for years. The first musical/play I saw on Broadway was LuPone and Mandy Patinkin in Evita in '79. It was riveting! I saw her again in performance around '95 in Ann Arbor, MI and once more she brought the house down. With a talent like hers who cares if she has th
For a musical theater devotee like me, this book provides some fascinating insights about life behind the curtain and the arduous, often painful process of getting a major Broadway production off the ground, but it ultimately left a bad taste in my mouth. Ms. LuPone is certainly a huge talent who has worked hard to achieve the heights of her stardom, but she spends way too much time here trashing the people she does not like or who have wronged her, and she presents herself as a victim with good ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not a huge Patti Lupone fan. I don't own any recordings in which she participated. However, I have always enjoyed her in television, movies, and when I've caught her on talk shows. Having taken many an acting class it was nice to read a book about what it is like to be a working actor. I had thought that once you had a huge hit on Broadway, you were set for life. Lupone shows that to not be true in her memoir and I really enjoyed her stories of her early career at Julliard and how hard she w ...more
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's hard for me to think about Patti LuPone without hearing the "Forbidden Broadway" version of her in my head, sung to the tune of "Anything Goes": PATTI luPOOOOOOONE!

This book really humanized an iconic voice for me. I especially appreciated her candor about how much she struggled vocally during her Evita journey. It helps to be reminded that just because someone sounds like they have it all figured out, it's not necessarily the case. Also fascinating to hear about her Juilliard years, and to
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I thought she was a bitch before I read this. Now I KNOW she is. LuPone gripes, complains, whines, and bitches through approx. 350 pages. And if you like gossipy back stage stuff, IT'S FANTASTIC. I don't like HER, but man did I enjoy reading this. It actually makes me feel rather sad for her-she has almost nothing positive to say about the vast majority of her career. Such a priviliged and talented person, and it seems to have brought her nothing but anger and resentment. But, whatever, it ...more
Oct 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Excellent book if one is interested in Broadway tittle-tattle...and the author LOVES to tittle tattle as to everyone who in her opinion has ever "done her wrong"! Very few apparently make the cut list as to those worthy of her wonderfulness. Ms. LuPone has also managed to perfect the art of whine-whine-whine. Lots of "they done me wrong"...endless vignettes as to drunken revelries..."Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" could perhaps be rewritten as "Everyone Cry for Poor Patti". Skip it.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I have to admit, I had trouble starting this - Patti Lupone is not my favourite performer but I was given the audiobook as a gift and felt obliged to try it out.

And you know what? She's grown on me. Certainly, having her perform the book (let's face it, she's not just reading the memoir)in your ear, takes a little getting used to but I'll miss her warm, take-no-prisoners style.

Just don't make me go and see her in Company.
Briana Alzola
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a die-hard theatre fan, I always like getting a backstage look (literally) at what's happening when a big musical is just beginning. LuPone originated some roles and reinvented others. The book was far from perfect but it entertained me just the same
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listened
I love Lupone's passion, anger, and vibrancy. She does not give a flying flip what anyone thinks and it's great.
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Moral of the story: Don't piss Patti LuPone off because she will not hesitate to call you a douchebag in her book.

I love her.
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