Patti LuPone's tour came minutes after she appeared on the The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which returned Sunday night for a one-night only benefit

By Dave Quinn
March 23, 2020 02:52 PM

Patti LuPone is pulling back the curtain and giving her fans a tour of her eclectic basement.

Like millions of Americans, the two-time Tony winner is social distancing and staying indoors amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But on Sunday, she decided to have some fun, showing off the treasures found in the basement of her Connecticut home.

“Hi everybody, so you wanted to see the basement? Come with me,” LuPone said in a video trip through the space, which she shared to Twitter.

She then proceeded to walk through the room, pointing out the many rare items she’s collected over the years, including a working jukebox, dozens of clapperboards from her film and TV projects (including 1989’s Life Goes On) and a large statue of Nipper, the RCA dog.

There was even a slot machine that played a swing rendition of “How High the Moon,” which LuPone danced around to for the rest of the show. “Here’s a one-armed bandit. Remember those things? Remember when you had to pull it?” the actress and singer said, demonstrating how the contraption worked. “So you put a nickel in here, and you pull the arm, and you listen!”

Elsewhere in LuPone’s basement were shelves of records, a massage table, and a row of floor to ceiling lockers.

There was also a desk that she’s had for “I don’t know, a million years” — something she bought “with David Mamet while I was rehearsing [his 1977 play] The Woods.” And if that weren’t enough? A Baldwin piano that LuPone bought for $11,000 when she was cast as the title character in Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ 1979 musical Evita.

“It’s broken now,” she lamented.

LuPone’s tour came minutes after she appeared on the The Rosie O’Donnell Show, which returned Sunday night for a one-night only, 3½-hour show to raise money for The Actors Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to helping actors, creatives, ushers and more struggling with finding work as much of the entertainment business pauses during the pandemic.

Asked how she was doing, LuPone said she “was holding on,” explaining that she used the time to play games like pool with her husband Matthew Johnston and their son, Joshua.

“I haven’t watched any television,” LuPone said. “I watch the news and then turn the news off and then I read. We’ve been playing games, I’ve been cooking a lot. I’ve been walking; I live in the country, so I’ve been walking outside.’

“I’m trying to take stock of this time, and reflecting,” she said, adding that she’s focusing on making sure “that every moment in our lives and our day counts.”

“I have time with my family. I have time,” LuPone said. “Usually in our business we don’t have time. We’re always working, we’re always going to another place, we’re always doing something. This is time to reflect and time to pray for a better world.”

Patti LuPone
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

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LuPone was set to make her return to Broadway in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. The acclaimed production, transferring from London, had planned to open on Sunday night but all Broadway performances have been cancelled until April 13 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“When Broadway goes back, hopefully we will come back,” LuPone said.

Meanwhile, in addition to LuPone, O’Donnell’s show featured performances from Barry Manilow, Ben Platt, Katharine McPhee, David Foster, Gloria Estefan, Kristen Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, Jordan Fisher and more, as well as interviews with Lin-Maneul Miranda, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Tituss Burgess, Chita Rivera, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Neil Patrick Harris, (to name a few).Jesse Tyler Ferguson

The benefit raised more than $600,000 for The Actor’s Fund, including $100,000 which O’Donnell donated directly.

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