An Important Voice: Mandy Patinkin

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The beard is back, after a few months away from the face of Mandy Patinkin, who now prepares for a new season of "Homeland," the enormously successful Showtime program that's mesmerized millions for a long while now. The New Yorker called him "a subtle actor," which minimizes the case. Mandy is a brilliant actor, credible down to the last word, mysterious, moving, and honest, and, as well, a remarkable singer, a theatrical figure, melancholy, and vigorously hilarious in much of his music.

His albums are novelistic, leaning as they sometimes do on the cerebral songs of Sondheim. Mandy is part of a Pulitzer Prize for his leading role in "Sunday In The Park With George." His credit list is far too long for this modest piece, but I've set out here to tell you, as the close friend that I am, that Mandy's greatest talent is invention.

Ideas flow from him, almost, it seems, every hour. He will spend months in some faraway spot if there's even a tiny theater that will accommodate an idea. He has, and will again, I'm sure, create, out of thin air, a magical work that perhaps only nine hundred people will see. Then, a year later, after reconsidering the project, he will tear it up and start again, and again, and find another theater to welcome him.

I champion this man, I love this man, a creative being with a torrential energy to transmit in his work what he knows to be true about the brisk eighty years or so that might be Mandy's (he's sixty now) or might be ours. Believe me: this is an important voice. Listen.



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Comments [5]

Melodie from Newton, NJ

I am SO enjoying your articles each week. Tony Bennett, Clint Eastwood and now Mandy Patinkin! They have all added so very much to our musical world. I have been fortunate to see both Mandy and Tony, several times at a theatre near my home. What a wonderful thing it is that these amazing singers will travel out of the big cities, to smaller, less well known places that we can afford and grace us with their talents. I love being able to listen to The Jonathon Channel whenever I feel like it. Thank you.

Mar. 30 2014 08:29 AM
Jay Hecht from Manhattan

Mandy is an American treasure ! As are you, Jonathan. Keep on going !!!!!! Warm regards, Jay

Mar. 26 2014 12:13 PM
Deborah Zenir

I have seen Mandy perform many, many times, and have also enjoyed seeing him in all of the television series, and hearing him join your radio programs. Thank you for playing his music, although I have almost everything he has recorded I love hearing it played over the radio.

Mar. 25 2014 08:47 PM
Tanya Knoll from Staten Island NY

I enjoyed the article very much.Not only is he a wonderful actor,what a voice.The first time I saw him in person,he was so full of energy I ran out the next day and bought every CD he ever made.Played them over and over.Its captivating!Thank you Jonathan Schwartz for the wonderful article

Mar. 25 2014 07:03 PM
Albert Kutzin from Melville, NY

Always enjoy hearing Mandy. I remember (I think it was a Christmas show of yours) when Mandy called in from a phone booth in Ohio(?) and it was absolutely hilarious.

Mar. 25 2014 05:20 PM

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The sounds of Frank Sinatra, Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and other masters of the American songbook can be heard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the world.

“The Jonathan Channel” provides an unparalleled showcase for this timeless music, presented by its strongest advocate, Jonathan Schwartz, in his intimate, insightful, and utterly original approach that combines impeccable taste with countless personal tales, colorful anecdotes and encyclopedic knowledge

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