Mandy Patinkin is out to surprise fans with his latest concert entitled “Diaries,” with pianist Adam Ben-David.
“It’s a very different concert than I’ve ever given,” says Patinkin, who comes to the Mesa Arts Center on Wednesday, January 15.
“In the past, it was all Broadway showtunes. This is mainly singer-songwriter material.”
It’s the songs that are surprising. On his latest album, “Children and Art,” Patinkin performs songs by Randy Newman, Laurie Anderson, Lyle Lovett, Taylor Mac, Stephen Sondheim, Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright and Faroese singer-songwriter Teitur.
The previous digital entry, “Diary,” includes a pair of Newman songs, one from Loudon Wainwright and another from his son Rufus Wainwright. Other songs are by Teitur, as well as one song each from Marc Bolan (T. Rex), Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields) and Marc Anthony Thompson (Chocolate Genius).
The change came when Patinkin’s 30-year musical collaborator, Paul Ford, retired.
“I wasn’t sure if that meant I would have to as well,” Patinkin says. “I was busy doing (Showtime’s) ‘Homeland’ and my ‘Homeland’ shooting schedule got more and more intense. I stopped doing concerts for years before it was just too much.
“And then I missed the music. My friend Bob Hurwitz (of Nonesuch) introduced me to Thomas Bartlett, who introduced me to all this new music.”
Patinkin began record the songs with Bartlett as producer and, naturally, the performer wanted to share it with audiences.
“I put together a concert version of this new music that I tried out in New York in October and November of last year, and then to Australia, Hawaii and San Francisco. I finished the final season of ‘Homeland’ and I took it right back on the road.”
He has 30 concerts in 28 cities and the tour ends February 14. He has a quick answer for how he balances his schedule.
“I use my iPhone calendar.”
Patinkin is well known for his portrayal of Inigo Montoya in the 1987 movie “The Princess Bride.” His other film credits include “Yentl” (1983), “Alien Nation” (1988), “Dick Tracy” (1990), “Wish I Was Here” (2014) and “Wonder” (2017).
In addition to his role on “Homeland,” he has appeared in major roles in TV series such as “Chicago Hope,” “Dead Like Me” and “Criminal Minds.”
Patinkin is a noted interpreter of the musical works of Stephen Sondheim and is acclaimed for his work in musical theater, originating iconic roles such as Georges Seurat in “Sunday in the Park” and as Che in the original Broadway production of “Evita” (Tony Award).
After he finishes this jaunt, he’s “scheduled” a “nice, long rest.”
“I haven’t had a rest for a long time and I purposely scheduled this concert tour so that when I finished the eight-year journey of ‘Homeland,’ it wouldn’t just be cold turkey. I could go into something that I love, which is my music, to just sort of give myself a nice transition.”
Patinkin plans to travel and visit his children and family.
“I’m going wherever anybody I love is,” he says.
Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries with Adam Ben-David on Piano
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main Street, Mesa, 480.644.6500, mesaartscenter.com, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 15, $45-$85.