Don’t cry for them, Argentina. Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin bonded in 1980 when they were cast as the leads in "Evita." She played the ambitious Eva Peron, and he played a revolutionary called Che. They both won Tony Awards and became stars of the Broadway stage, movies and TV.
Through it all, LuPone and Patinkin remained friends, and though they have yet to be in another musical together, they did work up a concert act about 10 years ago. They’re bringing a version of that show to Stanford’s Bing Hall as part of the Stanford Live season.
On the phone from New York, Patinkin, who’s riding another crest of fame with his role as Saul on Showtime’s "Homeland," talked about his love of performing and his even greater love for LuPone.
Q: Of all the co-stars you’ve had, why did you click with Patti LuPone to the degree that 34 years later you’re still performing together?
A: With "Evita," we were frightened and overwhelmed and needed each other. We became friends for life and have always been there for each other, through births of children, weddings, aspects of supporting each other’s career. I’ve had the deepest affection for her from the day I met her.
Q: What is it like performing with such a close friend?
A: We have 30 years of living and growing and learning and changing, and that calms us down, gives us both a kind of wisdom to appreciate the moment. Literally, I’ll be up there with Patti, singing or talking in front of students or whatever, and I say to myself, "Mandy, look how lucky you are. Don’t miss this."
I love looking at her with the light on her face onstage. I really take it very deeply that this is one of the great privileges of my life – a living photograph that I want to sear into every cell of my body.
Q: You’ve done everything, from stage to film to concert to recording. What’s your favorite?
A: I love them all because they were all sort of various accidents along the way. I’m addicted to each form, and they all feed each other in different ways. The saddest part of TV or filmmaking is that I don’t get to be there with the audience.
You can have wonderful times on the set, but you don’t get to experience the whole as it is received. When you’re a theater person, you want the audience to complete the experience, and you cannot accept that you are not there in every living room around the world when people are watching "Homeland." Anything short of that isn’t quite good enough.
If you go
An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin: 8 p.m. Saturday. $100-$250. Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford University campus. (650) 724-2464. http://live.stanford.edu.Tags: concert, film, movie, music, tv