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Favorite Diva Patti LuPone on Winning the 2012 Audience Choice Award: ‘I'm Thrilled to Death’

Favorite Diva Patti LuPone on Winning the 2012 Audience Choice Award: ‘I'm Thrilled to Death’
Patti LuPone
'I am so grateful the fans are there for me.'

The diva is delighted! Patti LuPone giggled with glee when she learned she had won the 2012 Audience Choice Award for Favorite Diva for her performance in An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. "I’m thrilled to death," LuPone, who was unable to attend the starry ceremony on May 13, told via telephone. "I am so grateful the fans are there for me."

The two-time Tony-winning actress reunited with Patinkin, her co-star in the original 1979 Broadway production of Evita, for the limited engagement concert from November 2011 to January 2012 at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre. "I love working with Mandy, and the Barrymore was the perfect space for that particular show," LuPone said, adding, "I’m surprised somebody hasn’t paired us together in something else."

Though LuPone thinks the word diva has a mixed connotation, she’s still happy about topping heavy-hitters such as Bernadette Peters, Elaine Paige, Elena Roger and more in the hotly contested category. "The word diva is generally used in a bad context outside of the opera world. Anyone can be a diva now. A newscaster can be a diva!" LuPone noted, "If they meant it in [the operatic sense of the word], then God bless them. That’s great!"

Known for her vocal devotees, the actress remembered composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) telling her long ago that her fans are "rabid." "I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I’m thrilled my fans know who I am and know what to expect of me. I love that they are game enough to experiment along with me in many different types of parts in straight plays and in musicals. It is an honor to win; I’m thrilled that the audiences are supporting me."

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