Theater News Online
free issue
London Theatre Reviews
NY Theater Reviews
LTN Recommendations
NYTN Recommendations
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
London Theatre Archives
NY Theater Archives
Latest New York News
Latest London News
NY News Archives
London News Archives
Peter Filichia's Monday Quiz
Dining and Travel
London Theatre Listings
NY Broadway Listings
Off-Broadway Listings
London Tickets
Advertise with us

Subscribe
Renew
Give a Gift


Logo

Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

 
GYPSY
at City Center,New York

WORTH THE WAIT
By Roger B. Harris

  Patti LuPonne and Boyd Gaines/Ph:Joan Marcus

Small wonder that Gypsy, the 1959 musical comedy that described how Gypsy Rose Lee, earned her bones by ditching her mom and becoming a renowned stripper with a difference, is consistently named one of the best American musicals ever written for the stage. When the book, based on the memoirs of Ms. Lee, is by Arthur Laurents, the music by Julie Styne, the words by Stephen Sondheim and the original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins that's Hall of Fame talent we're talking about. Oh, and another minor fact: Ethel Merman, played Mama Rose in the original production.

Now comes one Patti LuPone upon the scene to enact the role of the most famous stage monster, oops, stage mother in all of American musical stage history.(Make that world history if you exclude Medea.) Ms. LuPone is playing the indomitable Rose in the City Center 2007 Encores! Summer Stars production of Gypsy, a limited run playing through July 29.

Conventional wisdom had it that this was a role LuPone was destined to play. After all, didn't she have the pipes to match up nicely with La Merman? Forget amplification, LuPone, like Merman could reach the back of the balcony, with one vocal cord tied 'round her.... And conventional wisdom was right. Here's Mama, strutting her stuff, in this full-staged version of the musical...and she's magnificent. Yes, there are times when she seems to be speed singing the verses, have an egg roll, " Mr. Goldstone," for example. But her big emotional moment in "Rose's Turn" was all it could possibly be- and more. This meeting between actress and role was well worth the wait.

The cast assembled by director Arthur Laurents is delightful. Laura Benanti is stunning as Louise aka Miss Gypsy Rose Lee, possessor of a beautiful voice and a quiet bearing that gives no clue to the fire burning within; Boyd Gaines as Herbie, conveys just enough spinelessness to make his role as Rose's put upon boyfriend (and booking agent) believable and his leaving her believable, too; and who will ever forget the trio of grinders, Alison Fraser, Nancy Opel, and Marilyn Caskey, proud possessors each, of a "gimmick" to succeed, who bring down the house.

And speaking of the house, audiences throughout the run, have been wildly in love with the entire production--breaking into lusty cheers at the drop of a hat. But, let's face it, it's Ms. LuPone they've come to see and she doesn't disappoint. Her charisma energizes the entire auditorium. Her power and determination carry the day.

 


SUBSCRIBE TO New York Theater News
SUBSCRIBE TO London Theater News

SCHEDULE UPDATES -
Yes, Prime Minister contracts its run, while A Chorus Line expands its own.
POWERHOUSE OF THEATRE - After 11 years as the Almeida Theatre's artistic director, Michael Attenborough is stepping down to focus on directing. 

SONGS FROM THE HEART - Once the Tony-Award winning musical is set to hit London in January.


Wine, Fruit, and Gourmet Gift Baskets.
Privacy Notice   |   Front Page
Copyright © TheaterNewsOnline.com. All Rights Reserved.