Don't look now, but according to New York Post 's Michael Riedel, a Broadway re-turn for Mama Rose could be in the offing.
After this year's musical chairs of musical theatres took place -- with How The Grinch Stole Christmas co-opting Young Frankenstein's place at the St. James Theatre -- it meant that after the Holidays, the St. James will be vacant and available after January 6, 2008.
Riedel says that a decision is close at hand that would bring Arthur Laurents' Gypsy with Patti LuPone to the Great White Way. Laurents, of course, not only wrote Gypsy's quintessential show business book on how Gypsy Rose Lee became a star, but this past summer, he directed LuPone's second turn as Mama Rose at New York City Center's Encores!
Roger Berlind, the courtly producer behind Curtains, is spearheading the move, which will cost about $9 million, a high price tag for a revival. Also in the mix is The Frankel Group, which produced The Producers and Hairspray.
"They're teetering on a decision this week," says a source involved in the negotiations.
Agents for such cast members as Tony winner Boyd Gaines and the wonderful Laura Benanti have been asked to keep their clients free for what would be a limited engagement through the summer.
This would mark the fourth Broadway revival of Gypsy and the second time a revival of the hit would tread the boards of the St. James; the celebrated 1989 revival with Tyne Daly performed there before moving to the Marquis Theatre in 1991. A new revival would come very close on the heels of the 2003 revival starring Bernadette Peters -- which, for the record, I did enjoy.
But to be honest, that was nothing compared to how "wowed" -- make that blown away -- I was last summer when Patti LuPone took to the stage as Mama Rose at Chicagoland's Ravinia Festival. The prospect of seeing what I believe is Broadway's best musical ever come back with Patti LuPone lording over it is nothing short of the most exciting news I've read this year.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
At 90, Laurents Has Still "Got It" (July 27, 2007)
Everything's Coming Up Patti! (July 9, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Top Ten Of The Year (June 4, 2007)
SOB's Best Of 2006-07: Best Revivals Of Musicals (May 18, 2007)
It's Official: LuPone's Triumph Earns Encores! (March 19, 2007)
Will Encores Mount All-Star Gypsy? (March 2, 2007)
SOB's 6 Singular Sensations Of '06 - #1: Patti LuPone (December 30, 2006)
Gypsy (The SOB Review) (August 14, 2006)