Lyric Theatre, London
Here for a brief 8-gig London residency, Mandy Patinkin Live in Concert is a 90-minute audience with one of musical theatre’s most gifted and versatile performers.
Accompanied by the equally talented Adam Ben-David on piano, Patinkin took his audience on a whirl around the American Songbook that included a delicious detour through Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody too.
The evening’s setlist was an ingenious series of segues that saw numbers from writers including Loesser, Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein fused into medleys that Patinkin’s perfectly weighted baritone delivered deliciously.
Patinkin’s interpretations and acting through song was on point throughout - not least in Marc Anthony Thompson's heartbreaking composition My Mom and a thrilling Soliloquy from Carousel. His partnership with Ben-David is clearly well grounded, the musical synergy between singer and pianist being one of complete connection and the evening's penultimate number Being Alive proving sensational.
In a gig peppered with anecdotes, Patinkin spoke in equal measure of both his glittering Broadway career and his deeply valued Jewish heritage. Nothing however could have prepared the audience for Patinkin’s encore that he introduced simply as a song with a tragic background, written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. While such a build-up may well have led the packed Lyric Theatre to not unreasonably expect Somewhere Over The Rainbow, to hear the Homeland star perform the song in Yiddish, a mournful yet brave and proud celebration of his Jewish identity, was a moment in theatre that will live forever. Unmissable.
In concert until 19th November
Photo credit: Joan Marcus