As for how Patinkin will sing: while those who've heard him know, those who haven't deserve a few words of explanation. Patinkin is a tenor, a high, pure, powerful tenor, though he can switch to a full-throated high baritone when the material requires it. Patinkin is also something of a crooner, with a tendency to slip smoothly from pitch to pitch when he's putting over a big tune.
But more than a tenor or a crooner, Patinkin is a singing actor. When he sings a line, every word and syllable is clearly articulated, but more important, every word and syllable means something. In his recordings, there's the wonder of being in love in "Too Many Mornings," the wonder of being inspired in "Finishing the Hat," and the wonder of simply being in "Being Alive."
One further word of warning for Patinkin fans: he's been hired to play Prospero in the Classic Stage Company's Off-Broadway presentation of Shakespeare's The Tempest in September, and according to recent reports, he's growing his hair and beard out for the part. So while those Patinkin fans hoping to see Jason Gideon or Georges Seurat may be disappointed, those hoping to see Ché or Iñigo Montoya may be pleased.
[Review published June 2008]
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