Mandy Patinkin: Broadway Royalty
Mandy Patinkin is heading out to see his wife perform in an off-Broadway play when he telephones. The star who strode the red carpet at this year’s Emmys, where he was nominated for best supporting actor in a drama series (Homeland), is not calling from a limo. Subway will do for this New Yorker. He’s effusive about the power of song. Acting for screen has made his name known worldwide but Patinkin is equally lauded for his career in musical theatre — and that’s what’s bringing him to Auckland this month. He’ll perform an eclectic night of song at the Aotea Centre with his buddy, renowned baritone Nathan Gunn.
To Patinkin, musicals are all about striking a nerve. “You can always find something to sing about,” he says. “Whether it’s something silly, or to forget about things, or how you talk to the people you love most in the world. There are songs that speak to everything. It’s a great joy to do them.”
He’s looking forward to returning to Auckland. On his last visit, he sang with fellow Broadway royalty Patti LuPone. Patinkin’s squeezing in this trip between wrapping a film by Zach Braff and preparing for a new musical that opens on the Lower East Side in December. Before the show here, he’ll be packing a car and disappearing on a remote driving holiday.
Gunn and Patinkin have mined their repertoires to put together a diverse programme straddling Rossini, Queen and Stephen Sondheim. Some songs, like “Over the Rainbow”, he’s been singing for 25 years, but he says the lineup constantly changes.
He also says he never leaves for the theatre without watching the news. “Because I want to see what has happened in the world. As an audience — both myself and the audience together — we listen to these lyrics through the filter of what has just taken place in our lives, in that moment, on that day.”
From Metro, November 2013