Mandy Patinkin, Broadway superstar and film and TV icon, gave a fabulous and furiously energetic two hour solo concert on Friday, November 29, 2019 at National Theatre, nimbly accompanied on piano by the gifted Adam Ben-David who also served as Music Director of the production.
Patinkin opened the show with a rousing rendition of “(Ya Got) Trouble” from “The Music Man,” ably tripping over the tongue-twisting lyrics with ease at a raucous pace that brought thunderous applause from the audience at the end of the song. Another crowd-favorite was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which Patinkin brought to dazzling life in a brilliant collaboration with pianist Ben-David, who got to shine on the piano solos of this number.
Interspersed with the more upbeat songs were slower and more meditative songs, including several selections from his latest album “Children and Art” as well as Broadway favorites from shows such as “Sunday in the Park with George.” Patinkin ably slipped into the character of each song, offering at times wistfulness, at other times sharp political humor, and sometimes romance, especially so in a song that he composed for his wife.
The song that moved me the most was one of the encore numbers, “Refugees/Song of the Titanic.” Images of refugees were projected behind Patinkin as he sang and he held his arms up during the chorus in a way that gave me the image of God holding the world in his hands while weeping for what his children on the earth do to each other.
The thoughtful lighting design by Nathan W. Scheuer added lovely yet subtle effects to some of the songs and added greatly to the overall concert experience. This was a one-night event at National Theatre, but I highly recommend seeing Mandy Patinkin in concert if the opportunity arises. His powerful mastery of his voice and his art make for a spell-binding evening of music and emotion.
Running Time: 2 hours with no intermission
Advisory: Some graphic images of refugees in distress or death were presented during the encore song; it is advised to keep small children from seeing the graphics.
This was a one-night event at National Theatre. For more information on Mandy Patinkin including his latest recording “Children And Art,” click here. For more information on National Theatre including upcoming events, click here.