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Far Away Places - Live at 54 Below


Artist: Patti LuPone
Broadway Records and 54 Below
RRP: £13.99
Available 15 January 2013

If you are a regular reader, you will have seen my review of Broadway Records first 'Live At 54 Below' recording, a wonderful release of Norbert Leo Butz's concert Memory & Mayhem. I loved it, and was very pleased why I was also asked to review Patti LuPone: Far Away Places - Live At 54 Below. As you may recall from my first review, 54 Below is on 54th Street in New York, steps from Times Square, in the heart of theatreland, and combines the best of cabaret with the best of dining.

Patti LuPone will need less of an introduction to most. She made her Broadway acting debut in 1973, but it was in 1979 in Evita where she first made her mark in a musical, followed swiftly by Oliver, and Anything Goes, and more recently in revivals of Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. These latter two get more than a passing nod on this recording, which is an eclectic mix of jazz, Broadway, standards and some other gems that you might not expect. The arrangements are clever - the opening 'Gypsy in my Soul' is a wonderful pastiche of Styne's Gypsy infused themes, and the blend of 'Ah The Sea Is Blue', 'I Cover The Waterfront' and Weill's masterpiece 'Pirate Jenny' is seamless. The whole album is seamless. All of the numbers earn their place admirably, and they are woven into a story by LuPone in a way that only a consummate performer can.

As well as the two numbers mentioned, other highlights are a wonderful version of Cole Porter's 'Come to the Supermarket' (From Aladdin) and 'By the Sea' (From Sweeney Todd) which is a refreshing change to the numbers usually featured in cabaret shows. There isn't a bad number on the album, although I could have lived without 'Nights On Broadway', which did jar slightly for me.

More please, Broadway Records.


Ian Gude

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