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Synopsis

Four young student actors, selected from the YoungArts national performing-arts program and invited to attend a special onstage workshop with Patti LuPone, arrive on the stage of the Belasco Theatre on Broadway.

The actors, awed by their surroundings but brimming with energy and excitement, limber up their voices on the venerable stage before meeting LuPone, who greets each actor warmly before getting down to the business of working with each singer and critiquing his or her performance. Later, the group will relax together during lunch at Joe Allens, a famous theater-district restaurant frequented by actors and decorated with Broadway posters.

Over the course of the day, LuPone assesses the performances of the following students:

* Kyra  Assertive and polished, Kyra sings an impassioned rendition of Change from A New Brain. But LuPone stops her mid-number, warning Kyra to avoid riffing and stick to the melody. Never re-write a composer, LuPone says, adding that Our only job is to tell the story. Encouraged to capture the audience, Kyras second take, delivered on her knees, brings LuPone to tears.

* Reid  Performing The Deli from The New Yorker, Reids manipulative phrasing of the songs opening line has LuPone stopping him to explain that hes posing, and she orders him to throw out what he practiced so that he can better focus in on whats most important: to tell the story of a young man who cant wait to get to work so that he can see a girl. The point is to get to her, LuPone says. Show specificity  its a story!

* Maggie  Admitting that LuPone seemed like a steamroller in her critiques, a nervous Maggie is told to scrap her first number, I Miss the Mountains from Next to Normal, because its outside [her] range at this point in her life. Instead, Maggie performs Without You from My Fair Lady, hitting her stride after LuPone tells her you need to get madder  which she does, getting in her mentors face. LuPone loves it.

* Ryan  Explaining that working with LuPone is a beautiful but scary thing, Ryan starts singing I Cant Sit Still from Footloose, but is immediately ordered to sing the song in a much higher key, challenging Ryan to get out of my comfort zone. The result is an invigorating rendition that Ryan admits is so much better than Ive done it before. There was joy in your face, gushes LuPone, adding that she loves his voice.

Performances over, LuPone shares some parting words with her students, urging them to be brave and to not be afraid of failure ... success limits you. Above all, Be fearless ... its about acceptance, what your limitations are and what your limitlessness is, she explains. You all have gifts  gifts to be grateful for, and gifts to be given away.

Produced and Directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon.

Patti Lupone: A YoungArts Masterclass

Patti Lupone: A YoungArts Masterclass

Monday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

HBO Family