Patti's Turn: LuPone Will Star in City Center Gypsy; Laurents Directs

News   Patti's Turn: LuPone Will Star in City Center Gypsy; Laurents Directs Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone, who triumphed in last summer's Ravinia Festival production of Gypsy, will get the chance to perform her Rose for New York audiences this summer.
Patti LuPone in the 2006 Ravinia production of Gypsy.
Patti LuPone in the 2006 Ravinia production of Gypsy. Photo by Jim Steere/Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

City Center will present the Arthur Laurents-Stephen Sondheim-Jule Styne musical as part of its new Encores! Summer Stars series, a spin off of the popular Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series.

Laurents, who wrote the book for what is considered one of the finest American musicals, will direct the fully-staged production, which is scheduled to begin performances July 9 for a limited run through July 29. The official opening night will be July 12.

LuPone previously played the stage mother of all stage mothers at the Ravinia, Aug. 11-13, 2006. Directed by Lonny Price, her co-stars included Jack Willis as Herbie and Jessica Boevers in the title role. Other than LuPone, no other casting has been announced for the summer City Center production.

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. Ethel Merman starred as Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters.

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 and a Tony nomination for her performance in the recent revival of that Sondheim work. She was seen in the Kennedy Center's staging of Marc Blitzstein's Regina and recently joined Audra McDonald for Los Angeles Opera's production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Tickets for Gypsy will go on sale April 9 at the City Center box office (West 55th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues). Tickets, priced $25-$110, will also be available by calling (212) 581-1212 or by visiting www.nycitycenter.org.

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