Certainly, LuPone has a lot of love to spread around when it comes to some of her colleagues, including Mandy Patinkin, George Hearn, and Kevin Kline (her longtime paramour in the 1970s). As a proud Sicilian (whose grandparents were allegedly bootleggers!), she rewards the loyalty of her friends with copious affection and praise, while cursing her enemies.
In fact, LuPone is at her wittiest when she is elaborating on her unhappiest experiences. Her prose is particularly acidic in her fifth chapter titled, "The Baker's Wife, or Hitler's Roadshow." In it she deconstructs all that went wrong with the out-of-town tryouts of the infamously flawed Stephen Schwartz-David Merrick venture, and saves her harshest criticism for her co-star Chaim Topol. (Perhaps more surprising is that she also loathed working with her Life Goes On costar Bill Smitrovich.)
LuPone also talks about her Tony-winning performance in 1979's Evita, which came at a terrible price to her physical and mental health. And she aptly recalls her humiliating experience with the musical Sunset Boulevard; in which after having played Norma Desmond in London, she learned she would not reprise the role on Broadway from reading a gossip column.
But for many readers, it's the older, wiser, and calmer Patti that may be the real revelation. Armed with a healthier attitude and placed in a healthier working environment, LuPone has reached even new career heights in the past decade, and she simply cannot lavish enough praise on her collaborators in Sweeney Todd and Gypsy (for which she won the 2008 Tony for Best Actress in a Musical). Like those must-see performances, LuPone's memoir is a must-read.