She was there at the 60th annual Grammy Awards last year to pay tribute to Musical Theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, but instead, Patti LuPone brought the house down with her performance of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, from Lloyd Webber’s Evita. Madonna who?
The diva originated the title role when Lloyd Webber’s musical debuted on Broadway 40 (!) years ago. Evita, with lyrics by Tim Rice, is about the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita’s early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual tragic death.
In began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976. Its success led to productions in London in 1978 with Elaine Page in the lead, and on Broadway a year later, where it became the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical.
In 1996, Evita came to the big screen. Alan Parker directed the film, with Madonna in the title role.
It was announced yesterday that Ryan Murphy‘s mighty fine queer FX series Pose will return in June for Season Two with at least one new cast member: LuPone!
Pose portrays late 1980s iconic queer ballroom New York City ball culture. It features the largest cast of transgender actors to be starring as series regulars for a scripted show in television history.
Teasingly, Murphy revealed the first episode will be set on the very day that Madonna’s monumental single Vogue was released on March 27, 1990, jumping ahead two years from the first season.
Vogue was inspired by dancer/choreographers Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza from the Harlem “House Ball” community. My favorite thing about Vogue is the spoken section, where Madonna name-checks Golden-Age Hollywood stars.
Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Dietrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine
Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers, dance on air
They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you
Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it
The song remains one of Madonna’s biggest international hits, topping the charts in over 30 countries, including the USA. It became the world’s best-selling single of 1990, selling over six million copies.
Alluding to the release of Vogue, Pose producer Janet Mock suggested that it would have a large impact on the characters: ”…sparking a lot of new aspirations and dreams for the people within the ball scene”.
Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter,
LuPone loves the show and we wrote this part, so she’s coming to play with us in a couple of weeks.
Co-creator Steven Canals has said that the AIDS crisis, which was already heavily featured during Season One, will come into even more focus in the new season:
We’re going to be leaning into what was happening sociopolitically in New York and so we’re going to be addressing Act Up and access to medical care for individuals who are living with HIV.
Will Madonna appear on the Pose also, adding the tantalizing drama of dueling Evitas?
Murphy has stated that he has a very good relationship with Madonna, confirming that she had approved the use of her music on the series. Who knows? Murphy snagged Lady Gaga for American Horror Story: Hotel
LuPone, who turns 70-years-old next month, is a two-time Grammy Award winner and a two-time Tony Award winner. She was inducted the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2006.
She received the first of seven Tony Award nominations for the 1975 musical The Robber Bridegroom. She won the Tony Award for Evita. She played Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables and she was in The Cradle Will Rock, winning a 1985 Olivier Award for her work in both. She won her second Tony Award for her role as Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy. She was Tony-nominated for her role as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 Broadway revival of Cole Porter‘s Anything Goes; Olivier-nominated as Norma Desmond in the 1993 original production of Sunset Boulevard in London, Tony-nominated for her role as Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, and as Lucia in the 2010 original Broadway production of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, and as Helena Rubenstein in the original Broadway production of War Paint in 2017.
LuPone and Murphy are already acquainted; she was featured on his American Horror Story: Coven (2013-14).
Source: Hollywood Reporter