What a privilege to hear Mandy Patinkin sing and perform in person. For this was more than a concert, there was chat too — and jokes! I knew he was great, but didn’t know why — having heard him on stage — now I know why!
With just a chair and a pianist, Mandy Patinkin drew us in as an audience for an hour and a half — straight through. He could have kept going — it was sensational. The range was glorious — Sondheim (Children Should Listen), Lyle Lovett’s If I Had a Boat (with actions!) Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody (all of it — by one man), It’s Not Easy Being Green and touchingly at the end, Somewhere Over The Rainbow in Yiddish.
Never before have I been so entranced and so felt that pony on a boat or Tonto talking back to his oppressors. In addition, there was a whole medley of mostly comic movie songs from the 1920s and ‘30’s. It was all so enthralling, especially as Patinkin tried and failed to tune a ukulele and then performed Chaplin’s ‘Little Tramp’ walk with it instead. Yes, there were props too!
Loved the on stage banter and terrifically simple coloured lighting, with a couple of spot lights. Nicest of all was Mandy Patinkin’s keen desire to give so much spotlight to his pianist and encourage us to applaud him too. A running gag (or real life problem) was Patinkin’s inability to read his stage list prompt — giving us the frisson of winging it! and his story telling, where he would go off-tangent and then grapple to get himself back on track again. Like Dame Judi Dench, he has that ability to hard core swear whilst appearing twinkly and charming.
Heart-felt, impressive and superb — well worth a listen! You can, even in the cheap seats, see and hear really well.
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