Broadway Legend Patti LuPone brought her show “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda… Played That Part” to the Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, NC. In the show, LuPone plays parts she could have played, should have played, and did play. This is the first time that LuPone has performed in North Carolina in 38 years, when she was still a member of The Acting Company before her breakout role in Evita.
The North Carolina Symphony played the first act of the performance with works from Offenbach, Youmans, and Gershwin, and LuPone came on after intermission to perform her show during the second act. Through the majority of the performance, she took us on a journey through her life and career mirroring her amazing memoir. She recounted her first role, her audition for the Juilliard School Drama Division, her first starring role on Broadway, roles she thought she should have played and roles she played but didn’t want to play.
Highlights of the night included her renditions of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita and “Never Never Land” from Peter Pan. She sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” as her “go-to audition song” when she was first auditioning for Broadway roles; however, the night’s rendition gave the impression that she was trying to get out of the venue as quickly as possible and she messed up a few of the words while singing at the accelerated tempo. Her microphone, or the speaker system, seemed to be at a much lower volume than perhaps it should have been to carry the quieter songs throughout the concert hall. “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife was good, but it was difficult to understand due to the aforementioned sound issues.
“Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy and “Invisible” from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown were both songs we were excited about and she performed both of them beautifully! The only thing that could have made the night more magical (excluding the sound issues) would have been if Laura Benanti had made a surprise appearance. She came back out twice after ending her set, she sang an encore of “Invisible” and then came back out a second time to serenade the audience with a blessing.
Photo credit: Amy Arbus Photo Credit: Broadway.com
The show was fantastic overall, and Patti LuPone commands the stage, even stopping people in their tracks when she came back out to sing her a cappella blessing “A Hundred Years From Today”. We waited after the show by her car and both she and her staff were incredibly gracious about meeting us and others. She proves to be a Broadway legend by embodying the qualities of a quintessential performer; she has the talent. the grace, and humility that every great performer should possess.