“Nothing is impossible,” remarked Patti LuPone in 1980 just moments after receiving the Tony Award for her performance in “Evita.” The role transformed the actress into a Broadway sensation, and now 42 years later she could pick up the third Tony of her career for her featured performance in “Company,” a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s momentous 1970 musical that reimagines the show with a woman at its center — Katrina Lenk‘s Bobbie — rather than the original male Bobby. Below, see a list of all eight of Patti LuPone’s Tony nominations and her two wins.
SEE ‘Company’ returns to Broadway reimagined in a ‘sublime’ production that honors the late Stephen Sondheim’s ‘indelible’ score
LuPone leads the Featured Actress in a Musical race for her sensational turn as Joanne, the acerbic character who sings the anthem “The Ladies Who Lunch.” The actress has had a long history with the character and this legendary song in particular. She performed “Ladies Who Lunch” at Sondheim’s 80th birthday concert at Avery Fisher Hall, belting the number on a stage with Elaine Stritch, who originated Joanne in the 1970 production. A year later, she took on the role in a New York Philharmonic production opposite Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby. And although she swore off ever performing in a musical again after “War Paint” due to the physical demands, she said yes to Marianne Elliott when the director staged this version of “Company” in the West End in 2018; she later won the Olivier Award for it.
A victory this year for “Company” would earn LuPone the third Tony Award of her storied career. She received her first bid back in 1976 in the Featured Actress in a Musical category for “The Robber Bridegroom.” Her next nomination in 1980 for “Evita” netted her the award for Best Actress and made her a theatrical sensation. She subsequently earned two more bids in the category for revivals of “Anything Goes” and “Sweeney Todd” before winning her second prize in 2008 for her titanic performance as Rose in “Gypsy.” She earned two more nominations in between 2008 and 2022, when she netted her eighth for “Company.”
SEE The curious case of ‘Company’ at the Tony Awards: Never any love for the star
The Broadway veteran is a frontrunner to win this year after critics raved about her performance. Jesse Green (New York Times) praised her for her “precision comedy and riveting charisma.” Adam Feldman (Time Out New York) applauded her for “harnessing her imperious earthiness to outstanding effect.” Helen Shaw (Vulture) called the actress a “gravitational force.” Most effusive of all, Naveen Kumar (Variety) deemed her “so magnificent and so magnetic in the role” that “witnessing her performance is like an exquisite form of ecstasy.”
To take home her third Tony, LuPone will have to best L Morgan Lee (“A Strange Loop”), Jeannette Bayardelle (“Girl From the North Country”), her costar Jennifer Simard (“Company”), Shoshana Bean (“Mr. Saturday Night”), and past Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell (“The Music Man”). She would be the first actress to win a Tony Award for playing Joanne.
Below, see the complete list of Patti LuPone’s past Tony nominations and victories:
1976 — Featured Actress in a Musical (“The Robber Bridegroom”)
1980 — Actress in a Musical (“Evita”) — win
1988 — Actress in a Musical (“Anything Goes”)
2006 — Actress in a Musical (“Sweeney Todd”)
2008 — Actress in a Musical (“Gypsy”) — win
2011 — Featured Actress in a Musical (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”)
2017 — Actress in a Musical (“War Paint”)
2022 — Featured Actress in a Musical (“Company”)
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