In Memory

Charlotte Patton VIEW PROFILE

Beloved BWW and MAC Award-Nominated Cabaret Performer and Actor CHARLOTTE PATTON Dies at 70

by  Jan.  26, 2018  

Charlotte Patton with her Friend and Musical Director  
Barry Levitt at the 2015 Provincetown Cabaret Festival. 
They are now both with the Angels. 

  Another glorious flame of the New York Cabaret scene has been extinguished.

Just four months after acclaimed Musical Director Barry Levitt tragically died of a heart attack hours before a performance at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Charlotte Patton--a beloved performer for whom Levitt frequently played and was one of his closest friends in Cabaret--died early Thursday morning at Mt.  Sinai Hospital after an almost two-year battle with cancer.  Both passed away at the age of 70.

Charlotte Patton was born on June 12, 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After graduating Woodward High School in 1965, she studied Theater at the University of Cincinnati, where she graduated in 1969.  In 1971, she moved to New York City to pursue an acting career and over the decades she performed on a theater stage in various comedies and dramas, as well as getting small roles on television.  Over the past few years, Patton also dabbled in stand-up comedy. 

Charlotte gained her best critical notices playing, as she would say, "a surprising number of alcoholics," including "Evie," the recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon in The Gingerbread Lady; the vicious pill-popping, alcoholic mom in Sympathetic Division; a rich drunk doyenne in The Theory of Color; a horny drunk in Isaac Brody's film The Raffle; and the tipsy mom in Averie Storck's award-winning independent film Showers of Happiness.  According to Charlotte, one of her favorite (non-alcoholic) roles was in the two-character Marriage Play by Edward Albee.

At the time of her passing, Patton had been a Legal Secretary for the Global Law Firm, Linklaters for almost 13 years.  In a message to the firm's employees, Michael Brock, the US COO of Linklaters, wrote that Charlotte " .  .  .  Courageously battled cancer sharing stories over the past year which gave hope to the many cancer survivors going through similar challenges.  We can all learn so much from her, not the least from her strength of character, generosity, fortitude, fantastic humor, and phenomenal grace."  Patton also served as a Senior Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and was an active and proud member of the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on New York's Upper West Side.

Click pix to see video

But performing on a Cabaret stage eventually became Charlotte Patton's first love.  Although she began her Cabaret "career" more than two decades ago at the popular New York club Eighty-Eights (after attending the Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center), she achieved her greatest success over the past five years performing two highly-praised solo shows.  Her 2012-2013 effort Looking For Love in the 21st Century (click here to see video above), performed at The Duplex (with Barry Levitt as Musical Director and Karen Oberlin as Director), earned her a 2013 New York Cabaret Award nomination for "Best Female Vocalist."  The entertainment website wrote that Patton's show was " .  .  .  a warm, humorous, self-revealing, and relatable show from an experienced actor and comedienne with a sweet alto .  .  .  Patton is a mature, attractive and youthful woman who is always picking herself up and who isn't ready to stop facing the music, the dancing, or the romancing."  

Two years later, Patton staged what almost seemed like a sequel.  Her sensual, provocative, and playful show .  .  .  Celebrating Men (Bless Their Hearts) at the Metropolitan Room (again with Levitt and Oberlin at the creative helm) earned her a 2015 New York Cabaret Award nomination for "Best Show, Female," and a 2016 MAC Award Nomination for "Best Musical Comedy Show." (See video below.)

Click pix to view video

Among the raves from the Cabaret press was this notice from

"Patton's stage persona is that of a good-time gal--a woman who's always game for a fling.  Good naughty fun is on her agenda .  .  .  Her singing voice is a perfectly fine instrument for the mildly jokey, occasionally racy repertoire.  She can--and more than once does--turn a note into a throaty growl, suggesting the love call of a pussycat on the prowl .  .  .  On Sondheim's torchy "Losing My Mind" from Follies, Patton provides some welcome emotional complexity, and her understated, engaged performance seems to show the darker aspects of her party-girl character's psyche."


A few months after her February 2016 performance of Celebrating Men, Patton entered Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan after experiencing pain in her ribs and chest.  Doctors found some small tumors and immediately started her on treatments to combat a cancer that turned out to be very aggressive.  Through all her intense discomfort and doctor visits, Charlotte's cheerfulness and optimism was as relentless as her cancer.  In addition to often traveling to Ohio to visit her 93-year-old mother, Bonnie, Charlotte continued performing, appearing in various Cabaret Variety shows and staging--in spite of intense pain--Celebrating Men at the June 2016 Provincetown Cabaret Festival.  

Click pix to view video

Patton was not only an entertaining and engaging performer, she was a beloved character in the New York Cabaret community; a ubiquitous and cheerful presence at various cabaret rooms and a fervent supporter of her fellow performers.  When news of her passing hit social media yesterday, on Facebook there was an outpouring of grief as well as love.

"Charlotte and I connected instantly, as I think she did with so many people," said her good friend and Cabaret Director Karen Oberlin.  "Charlotte was pure love and her laugh was infectious, I can hear it now.  She was a bright light, illuminating wherever she was with her joyful, kind, playful, and thoughtful nature.  She was also a beautiful performer who poured all she had into her work.  She offered so much to the universe, it will be hard to be here without her."

"We were only friends for the last five years of her life, but it felt like we had been buddies forever," said Stephen Hanks, her great friend and publicist for her Celebrating Men show.  "I will always remember her beauty, her warmth, her grace, her style, her humor, and her incredible talent.  And I'll never forget the unbelievable bravery she exhibited over the last two years while battling the cancer that was ravaging her body.  But it never diminished her optimistic soul.  The way Charlotte handled her illness was truly inspiring.  Four days before she died, she was telling me about her ideas for her next cabaret show.  I really wanted to promote that one."  

Charlotte Patton's life was one that was definitely well-lived.  And a celebration of that life is being planned and will be announced at a later date.

Stephen Hanks is feeling emotional with Charlotte Patton and 81 others.

My Charlotte Patton Obituary is Live on This was one of the toughest things I've ever had to write. I did the best I could. If anyone who knew Charlotte finds any factual inaccuracies, please let me know. Charlotte and I were not fans of "Fake News" and "Alternative Facts." ;)

Beloved BWW and MAC Award-Nominated Cabaret Performer and Actor CHARLOTTE PATTON Dies at 70

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01/27/18 01:30 PM #9    

Robert Otto

So sad to hear this!  I followed her on Facebook and we sometimes would get into debates due to differing ideologies.....but I respected her, and her talent.   I wish her the best..........she'll be singing in heaven I'm sure!


01/27/18 02:45 PM #10    

Michael Rapaport

what terrible news. i never knew she was sick. i saw her at the 50th and she was sooo nice and friendly. i knew her from home room and i did follow her stage career on facebook. i always told her  to bring her show to chicago.  she was a nice person and i am sad to hear this.

01/27/18 03:40 PM #11    

Nancy Sapadin (Paul)

So sad to hear of Charlotte's passing.  She was a talented and lovely person.  So glad we reconnected at the 50th.  Charlotte, you will be missed!

01/27/18 04:22 PM #12    

Gail Rubenstein (Horne)

So sorry to hear this very sad news.  Will always remember Charlotte's sweet disposition and wonderful sense of humor. It was great fun reconnecting at our 50th after so many years.  Taken from us way too soon.

01/28/18 09:18 AM #13    

Ronald A. Crutcher

I am truly saddened to learn of Charlotte's passing.  I was unaware that she had been ill.  While we had not seen each other since graduating from high school, we reconnected a few  years ago when I decided reluctantly to join Facebook.  I have really enjoyed our intermittent communications over the past six years.  Charlotte was a very kind, thoughtful, loving, and talented person who will be missed.  We should all especially keep her mother, Bonnie, in our thoughts and prayers.  

01/28/18 12:29 PM #14    

Peggy Rich (Friedman)

I was sitting in the Dr.s office this past Friday morning, when I heard about this.  I was devastated.  A very talented and sweet person was taken from us, much too soon.  Rest In Peace, Charlotte.....

01/28/18 01:55 PM #15    

Edward Shapiro

Oh my God! I am stunned!  My dear friend from Woodward Ensemble.  Over the years Charlotte had sent me messages about her cabaret show in New York, but they were always during the week.  Since I live only 3 hours drive to NYC, when she announced that her show was taking place on a Friday, July 31 at the Metropolitan Club, my wife and I decided to surprise her.  But I did not want to have her see me in the audience and mess up her performance, so I called her the night before to tell her we were coming.  What an incredible night.  She set aside seats for us in the front row, and she came off the stage to sit on my lap for one of her numbers.  We then joined Charlotte and a few of her friends for dinner.  In addition to all the memories from Ensemble, I will cherish that evening in New York forever.  We also wrote a parody that we wanted to perform at our 50th reunion, but time did not permit it.  Charlotte, may your memory be for a blessing for all of the lives that you touched.

01/30/18 12:30 PM #16    

Arnold Hanish

So  sad  to  hear  of  Charlotte's  passing.  What a  talent  and  inspiration to all. too Young,  "the  good  they  die  Young" she will be  missed.

Arnie Hanish

01/31/18 08:39 AM #17    

Karlyne Smith (Talmage)

I first met Charlotte when we were in Carthage Elementary School.  She was very talented then. Sorry to hear of her passing.

02/03/18 03:43 PM #18    

Robin Sevester (Avery)

I think all of us have special memories of Charlotte. I admired her so much . She truly followed her dream. It was always fun to catch up with her at all our reunions. What a beautiful voice she had. I am only sorry that I did not catch up with her in NYC.

May she rest in peace.

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