Patti LuPone has no fucks left to give. In fact, I think Patti’s fuck fields have laid fallow since the mid-to-late 70s, and her fuck famine has persisted ever since. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still keep a tractor, which she uses with some frequency to drag her old nemesis Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. Patti’s returning to Broadway this spring with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, so she’s doing some press. And whenever Patti does press, her long-standing feud with ALW usually comes up.
In true diva fashion, Patti dedicated several pages of her 2011 memoir Patti LuPone: A Memoir to dragging ALW to hell and back. And according to a new New York Times Magazine interview, Andrew wrote a memoir last year called Unmasked: A Memoir, and Patti’s in it. Which was news to Patti. In Unmasked, ALW criticized Patti’s diction. I think you can guess how well that went over.
As you probably know, Patti originated the role of Evita on Broadway. It was a big hit. But apparently, ALW still had a few notes for Patti that have been sitting in his pocket for the past 30 years. Here’s how Patti found out.
Did you read Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir?
No. Am I in it?
The interviewer then tells Patti that Andrew “rehashed the expected stuff” (their falling out which began when Andrew fired her from the Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard and replaced her with Glenn Close), and that he also “made a point of criticizing” her diction. Patti actually wasn’t surprised by that, and even owned it saying “you don’t know, when you’re in the moment, that you’re not enunciating.” She even revealed that John Houseman used to call her “flannel mouth” back in the day (and also that he once choked her, saying he wanted to “beat her black and blue“). It was only when Patti learned that Andrew was talking about Evita that she objected.
How could he talk about “Evita”? The whole thing is sung. He’s a jerk. He’s a sad sack. He is the definition of sad sack.
She followed that with “I thought ‘Evita’ was the best thing he and Tim Rice did. But the rest of it is schmaltz.” And earlier in the interview she said:
I never wanted to do “Evita,” because it was the most bizarre music I’d ever heard. You’re raised on Rodgers and Hammerstein, Meredith Willson, Lerner and Loewe, and then you hear that? I heard the “Evita” concept album, and I went, “Ow, my ear.”
I think it’s completely unfair and unjust that we were robbed of the opportunity of getting video of Patti watching the trailer for Cats. Do better New York Times Magazine! Of course, Patti didn’t dwell on ALW for the entire interview. He’s so obviously not worth her time. She also talked at length about bullying in the theater, and said that the late Hal Prince was a real piece of work. She says she left those stories out of her memoir “out of respect for the guy”, which, even though we know Patti prefers a shank over shade, I choose to read as another dig at ALW.