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November 10, 1995 - Image 94

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-11-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Chicago's
Hope At
Detroit's
Music Hall

Patinkin kicks offgrand reopening.

SUZANNE CHESSLER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

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74

hen
1/1/ Mandy
Patinkin pulls up
his chair on stage
Wednesday, Nov.
1.5, it will be in the
center of a brand-
new $6 million
facelift of the newly
restored Music Hall.
Patinkin will celebrate the
grand reopening of the Music
Hall with his Detroit audience by
performing many of his favorite
songs such as "You Are Beauti-
ful," "Beat Out That Rhythm on
the Drum," "If I Loved You" and
"A Kiss to Build a Dream --On."
So different from the Emmy
award-winning, abrasive doctor
he portrays in the hit TV series
"Chicago Hope," Patinkin in con-
cert sometimes takes a break
from the lyrics and closes his
eyes, letting the piano player lose
himself in the melodies.
"My show is sort of a non-show
because there's nothing on stage
but an upright piano, a chair, a
ghost light, a piano player (Paul
Ford) and me," explained the
Broadway and television star ;
who is known for appearing on
hallowed stages casually dressed
in T-shirt, baggy pants and gym
shoes.
"I want to be as relaxed as pos-
sible, and I want the audience to
be as relaxed as possible. I want
the audience to concentrate with
me on the words that these bril-
liant people have written, not the
pyrotechnics. It leaves more
doors open for listeners to have
their own experiences as opposed
to looking at some fancy set, a
guy in a car and 22 girls coming
out with practically nothing on."
The Music Hall audience will
be among the first to hear

Patinkin's latest concert as he be-
gins to take it around the coun-
try and into Canada. The
upcoming performance is domi-
nated by numbers from
Patinkin's new album, Oscar and
Steve, a tribute to the creativity
of Oscar Hammerstein and
Stephen Sondheim. The rest of
the concert becomes a potpourri
of selections from earlier albums
and songs introduced to his
repertoire.
The choices for the album were
made with his pianist and con-
ductor during time off from shoot-
ing "Chicago Hope," which now
will have the actor/singer as an
intermittent star.
"I've already made arrange-
ments to come back to the series
before the season's over,"
Patinkin said about his decision
to discontinue his weekly com-
mitment, which meant leaving
his family in New York while he
worked in Los Angeles. "I've
loved the show and the people,
but I couldn't find a way to meet
the TV schedule and also be
available to my family. 'Chicago
Hope' was far more demanding
both mentally and physically
than any other venue I operate
in. There was no time to have
dinner with my family, and there
was no time to go to a soccer
game without words sticking out
of a pocket to be memorized by 6
the next morning."
One special day coming up this
weekend before the Detroit con-
cert is the bar mitzvah of
Patinkin's older son. It wasn't too
long after the entertainer's own
bar mitzvah.that he became in-
terested in theater arts.
"I sang in a boys choir at my
synagogue," recalled the native

Music Hall Restoration

Nov. 1 marked the completion of Music
Hall's $6 million restoration, a project
that took six years to complete. Detroit's
oldest and only remaining legitimate
stage theater, the newly restored Music
Hall is now reminiscent of its original
1928 splendor from decorative ceilings
to patron boxes to 1,713 new theater
seats.
Founded and funded 67 years ago by
Matilda Dodge Wilson, the widow of auto
pioneer John Dodge, the Music Hall was
originally named the Wilson Theatre.
Today, the historic landmark is one of De-
troit's premier performing arts centers.

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