Will LuPone Gypsy Play Broadway?

News   Will LuPone Gypsy Play Broadway? A Broadway transfer of the recent City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of Gypsy — starring Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone as Rose — is currently being mulled over by producer Roger Berlind.
The irreplaceable Patti LuPone in Gypsy.
The irreplaceable Patti LuPone in Gypsy. Photo by Joan Marcus

The New York Post reports that Berlind and The Frankel Group may reopen the production of the classic Arthur Laurents-Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical at the St. James Theatre in 2008. The New York daily says the revival would cost about $9 million, an expensive proposition for a musical that was revived in 2003.

Potential backers, the Post says, are concerned that The New York Times failed to rave about LuPone's performance, although every other major critic did. Critics were equally enthusiastic about the work of Boyd Gaines (as the put-upon Herbie) and Laura Benanti (as a revelatory Louise).

A source told the Post that a decision about a Broadway run would likely be made within the week. A possible London engagement in fall 2008 is also being discussed.

The Encores! Summer Stars production of Gypsy played its final performance at City Center July 29. The limited run began previews July 9 with an official opening July 14.

Directed by Laurents, who wrote the book to what is considered one of the finest American musicals, the cast also boasted Gaines as Herbie, Benanti as Louise, Leigh Ann Larkin as Dainty June, Tony Yazbeck as Tulsa, Alison Fraser as Tessie Tura, Nancy Opel as Mazeppa/Miss Cratchitt, Marilyn Caskey as Electra, Sami Gayle as Baby June, Emma Rowley as Baby Louise, Jim Bracchita as Uncle Jocko/Pastey, Bill Bateman as George/Mr. Goldstone/Bougeron-Cochon, Bill Raymond as Pop/Cigar and Brian Reddy as Weber/Phil. The creative team also included Patrick Vaccariello (music direction), Bonnie Walker (reproducing Jerome Robbins' original choreography), James Youmans (set design), Martin Pakledinaz (costume design), Howell Binkley (lighting design) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound design).

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 created the role of Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters. Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury and Daly won the coveted award.

Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines star in the Encores! Summer Series production of <i>Gypsy</i>.
Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines star in the Encores! Summer Series production of Gypsy. Photo by Joan Marcus
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