By Deb Silverthorn
Mandy Patinkin, the multi-dimensional entertainer whose fan base and success spans a career of the theater, concert stages, films, television, and as a recording artist will sing out his soul beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at the Charles Eisemann Center for Performing Arts.
As he brings his “Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries” to the Richardson stage, accompanied by pianist Adam Ben-David, Patinkin’s recently released solo album, “Children and Art,” is at the core of his concert tour, which is taking him to 28 cities around the world.
“‘Children and Art’ is much of who I am. It’s to be experienced, different in its nature and tempo and I’m so happy to be immersed in it” said Patinkin. The album’s title is a song from “Sunday in the Park with George,” for which Patinkin was nominated for a Tony award.
Patinkin, who won a Tony award for his Broadway debut as Che in the 1980 production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” has been heralded for his roles in “Falsettos,” “Hamlet,” “Henry IV, Part I,” “Rebel Women Savage,” “The Secret Garden,” “The Tempest” and many other theater productions.
On CBS Records, the songbird released “Mandy Patinkin” and “Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual.” On the Nonesuch label, he recorded three digital albums with pianist and producer Thomas Bartlett: “Diary January 2018,” “Diary April/May 2018” and “Diary December 2018” as well as “Experiment,” “Oscar & Steve,” “Kidults” and “Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim.” Patinkin’s most personal project, “Mamaloshen,” is a collection recorded in 1998 of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. The recording won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy Award).
The singer has shared his all-around talents to films including “Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland” and “Yentl,” “Dick Tracy” and “Princess Bride” and on the small screen as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger in “Chicago Hope,” for which he won an Emmy award, and Saul Berenson in “Homeland.” The singer, who treasured the latter role to its end, booked his current music tour to begin just eight days after production was completed — the day before Kol Nidre — on its eighth, and final, season. (The final season premieres on Showtime at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9.)
“Our world is in a perilous state and every one of us needs to do what we can to help each other. It is a profound moment in our lifetime when we must help humanity and realize that none of us are better than all of us.” Sixteen years after offering up those words, Patinkin now says, “We’ve all lived through the ‘then’ and while everything’s different, that is all still true and the same.”
Offscreen, offstage and when he is not recording, Patinkin’s education in the field of social activism is varied and ever evolving. He has raised funds for organizations including the ACLU, American Jewish World Service, Association to Benefit Children, Brady Campaign, Doctors Without Borders, National Dance Institute, PAX (a gun safety organization) and Search for Common Ground. He is a board member of the Arava Institute and works with International Rescue Committee, highlighting the plight of refugees worldwide.
“I’m a little quieter, a little slower and I sing a little lower,” said Patinkin. “I’m grateful for the differences and appreciative of every second of every day.
“Getting older is the greatest gift and music is my way of telling stories that resonate deeper every night,” said the singer. “The more life they have behind them, the more they echo the time I’ve spent on this earth.”
By Deb Silverthorn