Patti LuPone Will Be Mama Rose in Ravinia Gypsy

News   Patti LuPone Will Be Mama Rose in Ravinia Gypsy Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who is currently starring in the acclaimed Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, will head the cast of another Stephen Sondheim musical this summer at Chicago's Ravinia Festival.

LuPone will join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for three performances of the classic Sondheim-Jule Styne-Arthur Laurents musical Gypsy Aug. 11-13. The Tony and Olivier Award-winning actress will star as the indomitable Mama Rose, the role created on Broadway by Ethel Merman and subsequently played by Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and, most recently, Bernadette Peters. The Chicago engagement will mark the first time LuPone has played the stage mother of all stage mothers.

Lonny Price will direct the Chicago production, and Paul Gemignani will conduct the famed orchestra. No other casting has been announced.

Gypsy will be LuPone's sixth musical at the Ravinia. She has previously appeared in their summer productions of Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion and Anyone Can Whistle.

In a statement, Ravinia Festival President and CEO Welz Kauffman said, "Gypsy will be a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s great orchestras performing one of the most significant works of the American stage and with a legendary star cast in a role that seems meant for her. . . . Gypsy is the perfect transition as we widen the Sondheim 75 series to present work by other masters of music theatre. That’s because not only will we get to hear the CSO give the royal treatment to the best work of one of the great American tune-smiths, Jule Styne, but all us who crave an annual Sondheim showcase from Ravinia will still have his lyrics to enjoy."

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Arthur Laurents. The musical bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, Patti LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Lés Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

Gypsy tickets can now be reserved by calling (847) 266-5100 or by visiting www.ravinia.org.

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