Brimming with more stamina and enthusiasm than some men half his age, Broadway legend Arthur Laurents (age 90) is set to helm not one, but two Rialto revivals next year. According to Playbill, he'll direct both Gypsy and West Side Story in 2008.
The prolific Laurents, of course, wrote the books for both of these classic shows. In the process, this genius collaborated with some of the biggest names ever on the Great White Way including Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins on 1957's paradigm-shifting West Side Story, and then with Sondheim and Jule Styne on 1959's Gypsy. If that weren't enough he's also worked with renowned producers like Hal Prince and David Merrick. And let's not forget the incomparable Ethel Merman.
Now he's apparently fully prepared to take his turn at the helm to show a new generation of theatregoers how these shows should really be done. The maestro's quoted in the Playbill for this year's sold-out Gypsy of the Year Competition concluding this afternoon:
I'm sorry I can't be with you all today. Unfortunately, I have a meeting and it's too late to change. I think everyone will be the winner and if you want a message from me, it's this: I will be directing a production of West Side Story for Broadway next year that will be radically different from any production ever done and contemporary to boot. How? Come see the show.Why not indeed. With Laurents and Patti LuPone together, I'll certainly be there.
There -- that's a tease that should sell a few tickets. Meantime, see Gypsy at the St. James beginning in March. Shameless but why not?
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
LuPone's Mama Rose, Part 3? (October 3, 2007)
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)