Sunday, December 14, 2008

An early closing for Gypsy

I just read, via a Twitter from Broadway & Me, that Gypsy is closing Jan. 11. The last performance had been scheduled for March 1, but producer Roger Berlind told Broadway World that "due to these uncertain financial times" he and his partners made the difficult decision to shutter the musical early.

Last week, Gypsy was playing to 64 percent capacity at the St. James Theatre and with winter being a traditionally slow time on Broadway, the decision to close a couple months earlier than planned is understandable. Still, it's so sad.

I had the pleasure of seeing Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines twice - in July 2007 at City Center as part of Encores and in the spring on Broadway. I loved this production of Gypsy the first time I saw it, and I think it got even better the second time, with the three leads accompanied by a wonderful supporting cast and 25-piece orchestra on stage.

This was the first Gypsy I've ever seen on stage and it was a thrilling experience. I'll always remember the standing ovation we gave Patti at City Center after she finished "Everything's Coming Up Roses." I'd never been part of a standing ovation for a song before. I turned to the person next to me and said, "that was incredible." He responded, "Just wait."

LuPone was so fierce as Mamma Rose, watching Benanti's Louise transform from gawky teenager to elegant stripper was amazing and Gaines made a truly sympathetic and heartbreaking Herbie. Their Tony-winning performances are three of the best I've seen in my brief theatergoing career. Most likely, they'll be three of the best performances I'll ever see.


Dale said...

I'm waiting to hear from one of my commuting pals how he and his wife liked it as I demanded they see it last week while they were in NYC. It's a shame it's closing early.

Esther said...

Good for you! I'm sure they'll like it, the performances by Patti, Boyd and Laura are so strong. It's one of the shows I always recommended whenever I'd get to talking to people in New York. I agree - too bad it couldn't hang on with that wonderful cast.