Gypsy starring Louise Pitre opens at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

jon5202
Stand-by
joined:12/14/10
The musical Gypsy opened February 5 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Info below:

http://www.chicagoshakes.com/plays_and_events/gypsy



Also, Sondheim's Road Show will run at the same location beginning March 13.



Updated On: 2/12/14 at 01:03 AM
BwayLover
Broadway Legend
joined:9/12/03
SO SO SO excited for this!!!! Going to see it in March. If anyone goes before that, please post reviews! I LOVE Louise. :)
"Years from now, when you talk about this - And you will - Be kind. "
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
Was Louise Pitre either Bernadette Peters or Patti LuPone's understudy in their respective Gypsy revivals? I seem to recall her name being connected with one of those productions.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
No. Pitre's lone credit on a Broadway stage is originating Donna on Mamma. Mia! Dear me, she was wonderful and it is a shame we haven't had her since.
mpd4165
Stand-by
joined:8/6/09
I went to the second preview and I figured there would be comparison as to Bernadette/Patti qualities in her performance. Since I only know of those two vocally, Ms. Pitre falls in between. The set design is wonderful and open in the three-quarter space, and Rose's Turn thrills, including one moment where she runs into the audience and faces the big bare stage where she feels she belongs. The 14-member orchestra (which you don't usually get in a Chicago theatre) was stellar, I got chills three separate times just in the overture. I believe the striptese needs some work, I just wasn't feeling like Louise was starting to relish in this newfound "Talent" and her seduction of the audience with her act wasn't quite there. I know quite a few people in the cast, so I'm curious to know what gets tightened. In any case, I'm so glad to finally see GYPSY on stage. Sondheim in Chicago is in no short supply this season as Gypsy and Road Show are opening at CST, The Hypocrites incredibly fresh take on Into the Woods (I've seen it twice and find it brilliant), Theo Ubique doing Passion, and a production of Assassins to come in the summer.

Sorry if this is brief and scattered, but wanted to throw some thoughts up.
jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
I was considering seeing that production of Into the Woods, but was a little skeptical about all of the balloons I saw in a few pics and a few of the double casting choices I saw in the cast list. Is it really that good?
GilmoreGirlO2
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/05
I saw “Into the Woods” and had a very averse reaction to it. Didn’t do justice to the piece. I agree with much of Chris Jones’ review: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ent-0213-woods-review-20140212,0,6741014.column

I say skip it. There are too many other great productions happening right now in Chicago that you can spend your money onto spend your on "Into the Woods."

Seeing “Gypsy” next weekend and can’t wait! Also very excited to see “Road Show” in March.
mpd4165
Stand-by
joined:8/6/09
This Into the Woods is polarizing. I found myself in the camp that did finally understood the true meaning of the show and thought the doubling really worked, like Jack and the Steward.
jon5202
Stand-by
joined:12/14/10
RevolutionaryCostume
Featured Actor
joined:10/6/06
I saw that Into The Woods last weekend. I found it polarizing to me, even. There were moments that I loved. The cast-doubling worked well with a sly wink to the audience. I wouldn't want it to be my first exposure to the show, but it was a fun and interesting interp of the material.

The peculiar thing was that they did the ASL sign for "Wish" every time they said "I Wish. . . " in the show. At times I love it, and it really brought out how often the wishes were integrated into the story. . and sometimes it seemed like overkill.

The second act after Last Midnight drug horribly. They could really tighten up "No One Is Alone."

jon5202
Stand-by
joined:12/14/10
RE: Into the Woods

Here is a clip from the performance currently running at the Mercury Theatre in Chicago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvfhgiNinac

If I see more clips I will post as well as any singing clips from Gypsy at CST.
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
"certainly the best "Gypsy" in Chicagoland for years (and I have seen many"

That is not faint praise coming from Mr. Jones.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Just a year ago we had Klea Blackhurst doing her Merman impression as Rose.
Marlothom
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/04
Caught this show tonight, found it just OK. I thought the biggest star of the show was the direction. Some really interesting choices; the bit with the light at the beginning and the end was rather touching. The acting was mostly good. Having seen both Lupone and Peters perform this role, I think Gypsy has been spoiled for me. I found Pitre to be strong in the acting dept. but the voice is just not strong for this role. While I can see Rose as an acting role, the problem is that you are so concerned she is not going to hit the notes in certain songs (Some People, Rose's Turn) that it distracts from the performance - she also does not hold the notes long enough. The other issue what the small cast/space. Numbers like Broadway, the Strip are just not as exciting with 4 dancers. The thing with "The Strip" is that it is so tough to do well outside of a proscenium - the effects seemed rushed and the bit with the curtain just did not work.

I saw Follies here and loved it so much more than the Kennedy Ctr/Bway production. I did not fall in love this time, but was entertained.

"Observe how bravely I conceal this dreadful dreadful shame I feel."
Updated On: 2/16/14 at 05:22 AM
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
I know it's been playing a while, but we just caught this show last night--and speaking as someone who was lucky enough to see the Lansbury and Tyne Daly productions (and unlucky enough to endure Bernadette's version), we just adored the Chicago Shakespeare Co production!

Superb performance by Louise Pitre that made you think of Rose not as a pathological monster, but rather as a woman of limited gifts who actually tried to do right by her girls as she saw it, and only turned monstrous when pushed to extremes by a horrible life. Her voice was not pretty but was wonderfully expressive and the notes were really there. We loved how her performance was scaled perfectly to the intimate size of the house.

Great support from the rest of the large cast up and down the line, and secondary roles like Tulsa, Grantziger's secretary and Agnes/ Amanda were fully realized equals of any Broadway production.Best of all, Jessica Rush created a magnificent Louise-- gorgeous voice, great arc into the strip, and a force of nature in that final dressing room scene that defeats so many Louises.

Wonderful set design concept featuring a gorgeously torqued proscenium arch (but we wish there had been more visual relief from the constant black velour upstage). Great wit and panache in the costumes (paying far more attention to period silhouettes than most Broadway productions have done). We even loved the choreography despite it being conceived for a greatly reduced ensemble. Huzzahs to the director for far exceeding our experience with the (wildly overrated) Follies production at the same theater 2 years ago. Most satisfying Gypsy we've seen in decades.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
I am most curious about the new orchestration created for this production.
indytallguy
Stand-by
joined:7/13/08
I'm sorry, but that Follies production was not wildly overrated. It was top-notch and better than the Broadway revival in some aspects.
Marlothom
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/04
Agree with IndyTALLguy - that Follies was amazing - it took advantage of the intimate space in such a clever and touching way, I will never forget it. I am glad you enjoyed Gypsy - I found it flat.
"Observe how bravely I conceal this dreadful dreadful shame I feel."
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
I saw this last weekend and thought it was a really strong production, not necessarily revelatory or ground breaking, but very well done across the board. The Robbins choreography was well adapted to the thrust stage and very well executed. I would agree that the Broadway section of "Dainty June and Her Farm Boys" was lacking due to the lack of additional boys, but those additional boys seem to be a common cut when regional theaters mount this show.

Pitre's Rose was a bit softer, much more human and less bull dozer than the character is often played. It made it seem easier to see why Herbie and Louise both stuck by her through everything, and it made the times when she did explode, such as the scene in Grantziger's office, that much more effective. I did have a touch of worry about her vocally with "Some People" as she did sound like she was struggling a bit, but either she got stronger as the evening went on, or I just stopped noticing and accepted it as part of her portrayal.

Jessica Rush was one of the best I've seen as Louise. She handled the ecdysiast monologue, and Louise's transformation from Louise to Gypsy, quite well, and had the added advantage of having the thrust stage to work during the monologue, as opposed to poor Laura Benanti who was forced to basically just pace the stage due to the very flattened out design of the last revival. The dressing room confrontation was stunning and had the audience riveted the night I saw it.

I can't say that I noticed anything particularly different about the orchestration. The band was obviously smaller than the last Broadway revival, but with 14 musicians it was still bigger than a lot of other regional productions that I've seen. They sounded great and the musical direction in general was spot on.

All in all I was glad that I got to see it and was not disappointed at all with what was presented.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Hey guys,
I was talking about this productions with friends the other day. Obviously, none of us have seen it, so we were taking shots in the dark. Can anyone who has a program handy list what the instrumentation is in the new orchestration?
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Piano/Conductor
Flute/Piccolo/Clarinet/Alto Sax
Flute/Clarinet/Alto & Tenor Sax
Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Tenor & Baritone Sax
Horn
Trumpet 1
Trumpet 2
Trumpet 3
Trombone 1
Trombone 2/Tuba
Guitar/Banjo
Bass
Drums/Percussion
Violin
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?