Balgord Is LuPone's Standby in Gypsy Revival

By Andrew Gans
June 22, 2008

Linda Balgord, who was most recently on Broadway in The Pirate Queen, is the new standby for the role of Rose — played by 2008 Tony winner Patti LuPone — in the acclaimed revival of Gypsy at the St. James Theatre.



Lenora Nemetz, who plays Mazeppa and Miss Cratchitt in the revival of the Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents-Jule Styne musical, had agreed to cover the role of Rose until a standby was hired; Nemetz played the role at one performance. Nemetz will remain in her other roles with Balgord as the full-time standby, according to a show spokesperson.

Linda Balgord received a Drama Desk nomination for her work in The Pirate Queen. She has also been seen on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles, Cats and Passion. Balgord played Norma Desmond in the first national tour of Sunset Boulevard and Rose Vibert in the national tour of Aspects of Love.

Gypsy recently won three 2008 Tony Awards: for actors LuPone (as Rose), Boyd Gaines (as Herbie) and Laura Benanti (as Louise).

Following a critically acclaimed limited engagement at City Center in summer 2007, Gypsy began previews at Broadway's St. James March 3 and officially opened March 27.

LuPone, Gaines and Benanti are joined onstage by Leigh Ann Larkin as Dainty June, Tony Yazbeck as Tulsa, Marilyn Caskey as Electra, Alison Fraser as Tessie, and Lenora Nemetz as Mazeppa with Bill Bateman as Mr. Goldstone, Jim Bracchitta as Uncle Jocko, Sami Gayle as Baby June, Bill Raymond as Pop, Brian Reddy as Weber and Emma Rowley as Baby Louise.

The company includes Andrew Boyer, Dorothy Stanley, Beckley Andrews, Nancy Renée Braun, Mindy Dougherty, Kyrian Friedenberg, Matt Gibson, Sarah Marie Hicks, Steve Konopelski, Matthew Lobenhofer, Nicole Mangi, Katie Micha, Matty Price, Andy Richardson, Lisa Rohinsky, Jessica Rush, Alicia Sable, John Scacchetti, Geo Seery, Rider Quentin Stanton and Pearce Wegener.

Gypsy features 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.

Gypsy is being produced on Broadway by Roger Berlind, The Routh - Frankel - Baruch - Viertel Group, Roy Furman, Debra Black, Ted Hartley, Roger Horchow, David Ian, Scott Rudin and Jack Viertel

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by 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 (as well as Linda Lavin, who took over for Daly). Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury and Daly won the coveted award.

The St. James Theatre is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.