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Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone, Side by Side Once Again

The two musical theater stars bring their joint cabaret show to the Kennedy Center this week. Here's a primer.

Old friends and former costars Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone—he was Che and she was Eva Perón in the original Broadway production of Evita—are back together for a musical evening at the Kennedy Center.

When Mandy Patinkin met Patti LuPone, it was love at first sight—the theatrical kind. Both were in their twenties and starring in the 1979 Broadway premiere of the musical Evita. In 2011, LuPone told New York magazine’s Vulture: “I think both of us realized how scared we were, and Mandy really became my rock, my ballast, my strength, my focus.” The pair have reunited for An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, at the Kennedy Center February 18 through 23. Here’s a pre-show cheat sheet.

Mandy Patinkin

Signature role: Inigo Montoya in the 1987 film The Princess Bride or the lead in Broadway’s Sunday in the Park With George—depending on your generation.

Noted interpreter of: Stephen Sondheim.

Tony Awards: One, for Evita.

Never fully dressed without: His beard.

Fact you might not know: Grew up in the same Chicago neighborhood where Barack Obama later lived.

Memorable film and television roles: Yentl, Dick Tracy, Chicago Hope, Criminal Minds.

Recent TV work: Saul Berenson in Show-time’s Homeland.

On singing: “It makes me feel freer than anything in the world.”

On LuPone: “I have the time of my life when I’m up there with her. . . . When I look into her eyes, I’m 30 years younger.”

Patti LuPone

Signature roles: Eva Perón in Evita; Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Noted interpreter of: David Mamet; anyone who ever wrote music.

Tony Awards: Two, for Evita and Gypsy.

Never fully dressed without: A presence that could make kings fall to their knees.

Fact you might not know: Once recorded a duet with Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane.

Memorable film and television roles: Driving Miss Daisy, LBJ: The Early Years, Frasier, Oz, 30 Rock, Glee.

Recent TV work: Joan Ramsey, über-religious antagonist to the witches next door in FX’s American Horror Story: Coven.

On singing:Evita was very, very difficult to sing. I was 30, had no technique, and nobody was there to help me through it.”

On Patinkin: “I knew I was safe when I was onstage with Mandy.”

This article appears in the September 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.