"For more than 25 years Patti LuPone has been one of the greatest female performers in the modern musical theatre. During that time she became renown not only for her capability to portray strong characters, but also for her amazing vocal power, which enabled her to sing the most demanding scores the musical business has to offer. Before we get to the CD at issue here, here is the basic info about Ms. LuPone's career.
After completing her training with the first class of the Drama Division of New York's Juilliard School, she began her career as a founding member of John Houseman's The Acting Company playing a variety of leading roles, both on and off-Broadway and on tour throughout the United States. Among her first roles were Rosamund in the 1976 production of Robert Waldman's and Alfred Uhry's "The Robber Bridegroom" and "The baker's wife" in the Stephen Schwartz's piece of the same title. Her big brake came in 1979 when she wowed New York audiences with her stunning portrayal of Eva Peron in the 1979 Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. The electrifying magnetism of her vocals and her strong stage presence earned her the Tony award as a best actress in a musical for 1980. The 80-is saw her tackling a large variety of parts, such as Vera Simpson in "Pal Joey", Nancy in "Oliver", a truly moving Fantine in the London production of "Les Miserables" and a charming Reno Sweeney in the 1987 revival of Cole Porter's "Anything goes". She was also no stranger to the TV screen at the same time, appearing, among other things, for four seasons of "Life goes on". In the 1993/94 season, Patti mesmerized the London audience as the first and for many still the definite Norma Desmond in ALW's Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately, due to the whim of the show's American backers, her Broadway contract was canceled, and she won a hefty out-of court settlement.
This CD came out in 1995; two years after her successful double CD live concert performance in LA. This was a somewhat different project, since it featured a big, Hollywood Bowl orchestra and was recorded in a studio. Yet despite the fact Patti is on the cover of this album, she only takes about half of the total 60 minutes on this disc. The rest of the tracks are the beautifully arranged solo numbers of Irving Berlin tunes, played with bravura by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri, such as "Something to dance about", "It's a lovely day today", "This is the army", "God bless America" and a few more.
But despite that fact, the real asset of this recording lies in Patti LuPone's soaring vocal interpretations of the Irving Berlin's songs. This was not an easy task, especially when most of these tunes were done before by the names such as Ethel Merman, some of which became her signature pieces.
Patti managed to overcome this obstacle in the best of ways. Whether it's her interpretation of the title song, `Heathwave', `Lonely Heart', or the witty `Doin' what comes natur'lly' from the musical `Annie Get Your Gun', one can't help but feel as if these songs were written especially for her and performed here for the first time. Patti's big vocals and incredible range blend perfectly with the big, brassy sound of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Thusly she managed to make these well known songs and tunes truly her own, giving them the special touch of her unique vocal power. This CD is a must have for the LuPone fans, but a lover of Irving Berlin tunes or of the outstanding vocal backed by a big band should also not be disappointed. "
Great Voice, Great Songs, Great CD !
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Patti LuPone signs Irving Berlin's songs as they were meant to be sung. From "Heat Wave" to "Count your blessings instead of Sheep" she is in great voice and it is a wonderful album from beginning to end. She is greatly supported by John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. John Mauceri and Patti LuPone revive these songs in great arrangements. Add this to your collection. You won't regret it."
A Pleaser! A Treasure! A Joy!
Christopher L. Allcorn | Texas | 07/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There have been very few performers with the power, range and clarity that Ms LuPone has. Her voice is crystal clear and her range is large, so the songs that she sings on this album are all great! From the beginning to the end you'll be amazed at her vocal ability."
Ms. Lupone makes everything her own
erik_lorin | Bloomfield Hills, mi United States | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've, like most, have heard most of these Irving Berlin songs. However Patti has away of singing them that make them sound fresh and new. Much like she did with Cole Porter's Anything Goes. After this album, I've heard others sing these songs, and I find myself saying, "Thats pretty good, but I like Patti Lupone's version better."If you like the classic broadway, sung by a classic singer this album is a must."