One of the most telling roles an artist like Mandy Patinkin, with such a diverse and storied career, can play is that of himself..well, kind of. On stage drawing from the manifold artistic experiences and explorations he has had over the years of his career can serve as a real revelation.
This October that experience comes to life at The McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at The College of DuPage in Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Being Alive. Accompanied by music director, conductor and pianist Adam Ben-David, his trusted collaborator since 2016, Patinkin draws from the wildly diverse roles he has mastered over the many years of his career to bring audiences his most electrifying role yet: concert performer.
“Mandy Patinkin is in the business of showstopping,” raves The New Yorker, and that is exactly what he does in this powerful, passionate evening of song. Being Alive is a marriage of many of Patinkin’s favorite Broadway and classic American tunes. From Randy Newman to Stephen Sondheim, from Harry Chapin to Rufus Wainwright, Patinkin will take audiences on a dazzling musical journey they won’t soon forget, and one that brings us the most honest of storytelling there is, one drawn from his career.
And it’s a varied career Patinkin has carved out for himself, traversing theater, the concert stage, film, television, and studio recording. In his 1980 Broadway debut, Patinkin won a Tony Award for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita. He was nominated in 1984 for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George. Patinkin’s long list of stage credits also includes Compulsion, Paradise Found, The Tempest, Enemy of the People, The Wild Party, Falsettos, and The Secret Garden. That list goes on and on.
In 1989, Patinkin began his concert career at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City. Since that debut, he has toured various solo concerts across North America, in London’s West End, through Australia and New Zealand, as well as on Broadway and Off-Broadway. Before Being Alive, he debuted his most recent solo program, Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries, at New York City’’s Connelly Theater.
His collaborations have been just as plentiful, including projects with a diverse slate of artists ranging from opera star Nathan Gunn to his dear friend Patti LuPone. His concert, Bridges, featured musicians from various countries in the Middle East; and most recently, The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, featured John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient Taylor Mac.
Patinkin’s film career has ranged from riveting drama to musical comedy with feature films like Before You Know It, The Princess Bride, Ragtime and Dick Tracy under his belt. His television career has taken him from laudable series like Criminal Minds, Homeland and his most recent stint at Judge Wackner in the Paramount+ series, The Good Fight. In 1995, he won an Emmy for his performance in the highly acclaimed series, Chicago Hope.
Patinkin will have a wealth of recording experience to draw from on stage this fall with a large slate of projects spanning traditional, classic and contemporary songs recorded over the course of his career. In 1998 he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. On Nonesuch Records, he’s stamped exemplary recordings like Experiment, Oscar & Steve, Kidults and Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim. On CBS Records, Patinkin released two solo albums, Mandy Patinkin and Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual. His most recent Nonesuch Records release is called Children and Art (2019). The songs were recorded in New York with pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman); several had been previewed as part of his “Digital Diary” series.
Still, as diverse as his professional life has been, Patinkin’s education in the field of social activism has been even more varied and continues to evolve to this day, informing on some of the most passionate messaging you’ll hear in Being Alive. He’s helped raise funds for organizations dear to his heart, including Brady Campaign, PAX, Association to Benefit Children, American Jewish World Service, among a host more. Patinkin is also a board member of the Arava Institute and continues to work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), highlighting the plight of refugees worldwide.
Residing in New York City with his wife, actress and writer Kathryn Grody, Mandy Patinkin has amassed an enormous well of artistic knowledge and experience on- and off-stage. Those experiences mount to speak to the aesthetic signature that only Patinkin can convey. It’s taken a legendary career to amass them, and on Thursday, October 12 and Saturday October 14, 2023, you’ll get an opportunity to experience them live on stage in an exclusive engagement at the McAninch Arts Center in Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Being Alive. And if you’re a fan of vibrant, authentic, passionate artistry, you won’t miss it.
Mandy Patinkin in Concert: BEING ALIVE with Adam Ben-David on piano comes to the McAninch Arts Center, located at 425 Fawell Blvd. on the campus of College of DuPage with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 14. For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.