When reviewing a performance by a diva of Patti LuPone's stature, it's considered posh to snootily deride her delicious over-the-topness with snarky dismissal.
"Real" reviewers can't resist that.
To be absolutely gaga-eyed when a Broadway legend's notes are ringing off the rafters is just so common, so star-struck. I'm just grateful someone took the time to entertain me.
I was enthralled by her Saturday night performance at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, and sing the praises of organizations such as the Sinfonia Gulf Coast that bring such world-class talent to our neighborhood.
Of course she hits magnificently high, warbly notes and won't let them go. She's Patti LuPone, for heaven's sake! If she came out all breathy and sultry and Marlene Dietrich, I would've been severely disappointed.
I wanted those ear-tingling high notes. I wanted to see all those famous people she's played — Eva Perón, Mama Rose, Mrs. Lovett, Reno Sweeney, Nancy — up there on that stage.
Patti didn't fail me. Backed by the sometimes lush, sometimes brassy sounds of Sinfonia Gulf Coast, she took us on a musical autobiography in her "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda...played that part" show.
"I'm going to sing every song from every show I ever wanted to do," she said after the glorious overture.
Such a tease.
But the 15 numbers she did perform were a satisfyingly wonderful tour de force.
From "An English Teacher" from "Bye Bye Birdie" to "September Song," a Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson number from "Knickerbocker Holiday," we joined Patti on a giddy romp through the musical theatre songbook.
Breathtaking moments — cue those high notes, get that hand up — included "Don't Rain on My Parade," "As Long as He Needs Me," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Give My Regards to Broadway."
She knows how to work a room, that Patti. At last, after lamenting she didn't get the title role in "Peter Pan" and singing "Neverland" anyway, she said simply, "I got this show instead."
And then she sang IT.
THE song we were waiting for.
The sophistos may have pretended nonchalance but were secretly aching to hear it as much as we peons were.
She sang "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina," the Sinfonia doing both Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Patti soaring, sweeping, grand justice.
The night was complete. I witnessed a diva in her fabulousness and left elated.