By Andrew Gans
19 Dec 2007
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
After a limited engagement this past summer at City Center — the inaugural production of the Encores! Summer Stars series — the acclaimed mounting of Gypsy starring LuPone will begin previews at the St. James March 3, 2008, with an official opening March 27.
Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti, who played, respectively, Herbie and Louise in the City Center production, will repeat their roles for Broadway. Gypsy co-creator Arthur Laurents, who helmed the summer production, will direct on Broadway as well.
Additional casting will be announced shortly.
Gypsy will feature scenic design by James Youmans, costumes by Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, hair by Tony Award winner Paul Huntley and sound design by Dan Moses Schreier.
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.
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.
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 Les 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. Her screen and recording credits are numerous.
Laura Benanti was most recently on Broadway in The Wedding Singer. She played Claudia in the Tony-winning revival of Maury Yeston's Nine, and she received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Swing! and the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. She was also seen in The Sound of Music, Time and Again and the City Center Encores! mounting of Wonderful Town. Benanti's regional credits include roles in A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha and A Winter's Tale.
Boyd Gaines was most recently on Broadway in the revival of Pygmalion. He won Tony Awards for his performances in The Heidi Chronicles, She Loves Me and Contact and was Tony-nominated for his work in Journey's End. His other Broadway credits include Twelve Angry Men, Cabaret, Company and The Show Off.
The St. James Theatre, which is currently the home of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street.