Friday, November 14, 2008

Gypsy Revival Will Cease Entertaining You March 1

Gypsy Revival Will Cease Entertaining You March 1

Despite incredible reviews, three Tony-winning performances and its rightful place as simply the best musical ever, Arthur Laurents' stunning Broadway revival of Gypsy has posted its closing notice for March 1, 2009. That date coincides with the end of Patti LuPone's contract.

With timeless score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, LuPone has delivered a tour de force performance for the ages as Mama Rose that has practically been matched measure for measure by Boyd Gaines as Herbie and Laura Benanti in the title role.

By the time this revival closes at St. James Theatre, Gypsy will have played 388 regular performances. That figure does not count its earlier run at New York City Center, nor does it take into consideration LuPone's first performance as Rose during the summer of 2006 at Chicago's Ravinia.

At the box office, Gypsy enjoyed a slight increase last week over the week before, attracting a capacity of 63.2% and grossing $593,242. But since LuPone's name is firmly above the title, it's hard to imagine this production with anyone else filling her (sometimes Isotoned) shoes.

Personally, I'm thrilled that I not only had the rare opportunity to witness history being made when LuPone first performed as Rose three summers ago, but found myself transfixed and transported when I saw her perform at the St. James just two days after the revival opened.

So, all this begs the question of whether Patti LuPone might renew her consideration of recreating her triumph across the pond on the West End stage. If she goes, I just may go myself.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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