Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries 2018

Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Diaries 2018
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House. November 14, 2018

Broadway musical theatre legend Mandy Patinkin, also well known for his film and television work, has returned to Australia, this time presenting a far more personal, reflective concert than we’ve seen before.

If you go along anticipating Mandy Patinkin’s trademark virtuosic vocal stylings of great Broadway tunes, they’re in shortish supply this time. Instead, this evening is decidedly political, socially conscious, introspective and often a touch melancholy, with song selections reflecting his most recent albums. You do get occasional bursts of what you perhaps expected – a rousing opener in “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man, his own take on “Bohemian Rhapsody”, or a pulsing “Beat Out Dat Rhythm On A Drum”,though his interpretations of Sondheim this time around often have a rather dark, acerbic edge, most notably a dissonant “You Could Drive A Person Crazy”.

Mandy is impressively accompanied and complemented by pianist Adam Ben-David.

With much of the concert on a more intimate and personal level, from my spot in the circle either the venue wasn’t the perfect match, or the sound engineering missed the mark on the quieter, more reflective non-theatrical songs by writers including Randy Newman, Rufus Wainwright and Harry Chaipin which dominated the repertoire (although a friend of mine sitting mid-stalls felt deeply moved and intimately included). The bravura numbers, though, were quintessential Mandy magic, and filled the theatre.

A trickle of early departures suggested not everyone’s expectations were met, but the fans were on their feet for altogether different reasons at the end, rewarding the star with a standing ovation for this new direction on which he has embarked.

Neil Litchfield

Photographer: Darrell Hoemann

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.