Holed up in her home in rural Connecticut, Patti LuPone has been working furiously during the pandemic. The theaters are dark, but the two-time Tony Award winner does not need a stage to perform. As a bona fide Broadway royal, she has the power to turn even her cellar into one of the world’s most coveted venues.
LuPone has been on a whirlwind virtual publicity tour for “Hollywood,” Ryan Murphy’s limited series on Netflix, in which she plays a failed silent-screen actress who becomes a Hollywood mogul with a socially progressive agenda after gaining control of her husband’s studio.
Between social media check-ins with her fans, a good many shot from her theatrical romper room of a basement, she has been lending out her formidable talents to award shows, benefit readings and special events, including the starry birthday bash that was held for Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. At a time when musical theater buffs are suffering extreme withdrawal, she’s been a singing cavalry, rescuing the deprived with her Broadway-style bel canto.
LuPone, 71, was supposed to be performing the role of Joanne in the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s “Company,” which came wreathed in raves from London. But COVID-19 stopped the show in previews. Instead, she has been on a bit of a media blitz for “Hollywood.”
“There’s something to be said about being overexposed in quarantine. I’m starting to feel that. The interviews are primarily about “Hollywood,” which I’m happy to do what I can to promote,” she said. “But I’ve been getting so many email requests. My husband said I’m busier now than when I’m working.”