Christmas Eve with Patti LuPone

If you happen to know the song “Meadowlark,” prepare to have your mind blown. If you don’t know the song, prepare to learn.

The song is one of those that voice students flay and flog and butcher. Even professional singers (cough Alice Ripley cough) have a tendency to tack on the treacle when they tackle it. But Patti LuPone, who introduced it in the flop musical The Baker’s Wife, owns it. She just does.

During her legendary cabaret act at Les Mouches in New York, performed during her run on Broadway in Evita, she tossed it off as if it was nothing. But watch this clip of her performance from that act, and you’ll know that it is far from nothing. First of all, her vocal range is as astounding as ever. Second of all, she taps into a vein of anger that no one else has. In this story song about a married woman who has abandoned love for security, only to find that a handsome younger man wants her, LuPone belts as if her entire life hinges on her choice—and she’s not happy about it.

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