Even with Broadway shuttered for the foreseeable future, Patti LuPone remains a source of pure joy.
The two-time Tony winner appeared on the livestreamed reboot of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” Sunday, performing the standards “A Hundred Years From Today” and “Smile” in an oversized T-shirt and sweatpants.
On social media, however, the buzz centered on the fixtures visible in the background of LuPone’s video, namely a colorful vintage jukebox and a wall rack stacked with cassette tapes.
In a nearly two-minute video posted to Twitter, the diva cranks up the jukebox and dances through the nooks and crannies of the basement, revealing a treasure trove of show business keepsakes from her career along the way.
Highlights include a mahogany desk purchased during one of her many collaborations with playwright David Mamet, a clapperboard from ABC’s “Life Goes On” and a life-size statue of Nipper, the RCA Records dog.
Theater devotees will likely be most interested in the Baldwin piano, bought during her Tony-winning turn as Eva Perón in “Evita,” as well as a framed black-and-white photograph of LuPone in rehearsal with composer Stephen Sondheim.
Fans, as well as fellow actors and media personalities, were delighted.
In spite of LuPone’s jubilant demeanor, the video arrived on what would have been her opening night in Broadway’s gender-swapped revival of Sondheim’s “Company.” On March 12, however, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a one-month ban on gatherings of 500 people or more in New York City to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, effectively turning the lights out on Broadway.
Speaking to O’Donnell, LuPone admitted that neither she nor her “Company” castmates were clear on whether or not the musical would return, especially since it appears likely theaters will remain closed for longer than a month.
“Nobody knows,” she said. “That’s what I know. When Broadway goes back, hopefully we will come back. We’ve never gone through this before.”
In addition to LuPone, O’Donnell’s one-night-only special featured appearances by Kristin Chenoweth and Ben Platt and was created as a benefit for actors and artists who found themselves unexpectedly out of work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Produced by actor Erich Bergen, it reportedly raised more than $500,000 for The Actors Fund, a national human services organization that serves as “a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals.”
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