Mandy Patinkin: DRESS CASUAL at Blumenthal Performing Arts, Belk Theater in a one man, one night show to standing ovations, last Sunday to benefit The Choir School at St. Peter's 20th Anniversary.
Well, it finally felt like I was back in Los Angeles. Claire Danes to the right of me, Damian Lewis was behind me. Everyone waiting to see Tony® and Emmy® Award winning actor, Mandy Patinkin in Mandy Patinkin: DRESS CASUAL at Blumenthal Performing Arts, Belk Theater. Charlotte has been abuzz with production. And Mandy Patinkin has given Charlotte the “kiss” of approval relocating to Charlotte, while in production on “Homeland”.
During his performance, Mandy Patinkin made us feel like we were his big extended Charlotte family. Maybe it’s when we, the whole audience danced the “Hokey Pokey” in the aisles. Or maybe it’s his warm, friendly demeanor that made me think he was a member of my extended family.
Mandy is an artist’s artist. He doesn’t just sing songs; he lives the character and story of the song. Mandy saw every nuance he was singing about and as the audience, I saw it too. The arrangement of music was grouped poetically. He gave a little insight into times in an actor’s life with “The Paramount-Don’t-Want-Me Blues” and extended into an eclectic mix from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “The Band Played On” with some Al Jolson flavor in the mix. He shared the story of his first kiss with his wife on a New York City street corner. I would have liked to have heard more… He segued into patriotic soulful depth with “Oh Shenandoah” interwoven with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. His voice has a fantastic range and his whole being has a strong commitment to entertain. He was accompanied by pianist, Paul Ford.
A portion of the sale of tickets for Mandy Patinkin: DRESS CASUAL went to benefit The Choir School at St. Peter's celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season, providing quality music education and performance opportunities for musically talented children throughout the Charlotte Mecklenburg area.
“Homeland” is in its second season, filmed here in Charlotte. It’s comforting to me when I see the wardrobe trucks and lighting trucks dot the landscape of Charlotte’s city. Mandy Patinkin is now a part of, and a neighbor in, our city. An increase in tax incentives brought “Homeland” here. Charlotte should continue and deepen those tax incentives to be “the” production hub for the east coast.
Upcoming at Blumenthal Performing Arts: JEKYLL & HYDE (Nov. 6-11, Belk Theater), CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE (Dec. 18-23, Booth Playhouse) and a special WICKED On Sale Event, WICKED tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 7, from 7-9 a.m., at the box office in the Belk Theater lobby, 130 N. Tryon St. Tickets go on sale online and by phone starting at 9 a.m., at BlumenthalArts.org and 704-327-1000.