I have had the great pleasure of seeing a revival of GYPSY
at the St. James Theatre last night in New York City. And what a great night it was.
Gypsy tells the story of an over-bearing "stage mother" and her relentless, and almost abusive way in which she pushes her 2 daughters in the vaudeville business. Their "act" is bad to say the least. When she "pushes away" her younger daughter "June",after years and years of trying to make her a "star", Mama Rose then makes it her mission to do the same with her younger daughter Louise.
Somewhere down the road, after years of chasing success and getting nowhere with their act, Herbie (Mama Rose's prospective 4th husband
and the girls manager, mistakenly books the act into an old run-down burlesque house. Down to their last dollar, Louise is pushed into becoming "top of the bill" one night and we get to see in person the act that would become known as "Gypsy Rose Lee".
Although I have been fortunate enough to have seen 23 Broadway musicals and plays over the past year, I can honestly say that this new, very lively and entertaining production "aims to please" from beginning to end. This GYPSY has an amazing cast that includes Boyd Gaines, who plays Herbie. Mr. Gaines has won 3 Tony Awards for Contact, The Heidi Chronicles and She Loves Me. He is an outstanding actor and adds just the right amount of seriousness to this production.
In addition, we get to see another great performance by Laura Benanti, who plays Louise. Ms. Benanti adds a wonderful blend of comedy, singing and acting to her role as Mama Rose's "no talent" younger daughter. She has been nominated for 2 Tony Awards and has most recently been on Broadway appearing in The Wedding Singer.
Mamma Rose is played by one of Broadway's most favorite leading "divas", Patti LuPone. Ms.
LuPone has been well known for her starring stage roles in Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables , Evita, Oliver, Anything Goes, Master Class, Sweeney Todd, Company and several others. She won Tony Awards in Evita and Anything Goes. Her acting is superb and she is well known for her Ethel Merman like "belting out the high notes" quality in her songs. It was a real treat to see her last night.
My co-workers know that I usually like most of the theatre that I go to see. They are right for sure but it is not every day that one gets an opportunity
to see a "solid" revival of a classic musical, especially with great acting and fantastic vocal talent as well.
Do yourself a favor. Get yourself a ticket to see GYPSY as soon as possible. Right now the friendly team at Applause Theatre Service
in New York City
has access to some "insider prices" for this production of Gypsy. The show officially opens to critic's reviews on March 27, 2008 and my guess is that it could very well become one of Broadway's hottest tickets. I really hope it does, the cast deserves the acknowledgement for a job very well done.
Bravo! to Gypsy on Broadway
, still holding up to the test of time in 2008.