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My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)

My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#1
Posted: 5/24/08 at 10:47pm
Here is my lengthy review of Gypsy: (Spoiler alert)

On Wednesday I decided to rush Gyspy with my two friends for the Matinee performance. Got to the box office at about 9:50 and there were 18 people in front of us and I began to worry that we weren’t going to get front row. The box office opened and we anxiously waited for our turn to buy tickets. When we got up to the box office we scored the last set of front row tickets for the Matinee performance, BB 108-110.

Collectively none of us knew anything about Gypsy and were going into the production with open minds. Prior to this show I had only seen Rent, Young Frankenstein and Spring Awakening, so I had no clue. When we exited the theater we looked at all of the decorations on the doors to the theater and wondered what the heck was going on, especially with the cow. With no clue what was to come we had to kill some time and got food.

When 1:30 came around we got into the theater and took our seat in the front row. We opened up our playbill and an understudy slip fell out, “The role of Tessie Tura will be played by Dorothy Stanley.” We didn’t know who that was but the bigger concern on our minds at that point was how high the stage was, we were so anxious that we would miss everything, Boy were we wrong.

Act I:

The curtains opened up and revealed a 26-piece orchestra, as soon as they started playing I was hooked. The overture in itself was amazing; the trumpet solo to the end got some loud applause, and the overture itself got applause.

Scene 1: “May we entertain you”
The show starts off small at the Vaudville Theater. Mr. Jacko was very funny. When Patti entered she got some loud applause. The scene itself was just an introduction but there were some very funny moments.

Scene 2-3: “Some people”
This scene I had my first sampling of the power of Patti Lupone’s voice, and it was amazing.

In this scene there were a few parts that we could only see heads but we didn’t miss anything.

Scene 4: This scene had me cracking up, the chemistry between Patti LuPone and Boyd Gaines was amazing. Here sondheims lyrics really shown through.

Scene 5: “Baby June and her Newsboys”

This is where being in the front row became very cool. The beginning of the newsboys scene the newsboys come to the very edge of the stage and reach out there newspapers. The one newspaper boy reached a newspaper right into my face and out of reaction I began reaching for it until he quickly snatched it out of my face. (Note: I was very far from actually grabbing the newspaper) My two friends had a nice laugh about this though.

The part where the strobe lights begin flashing and Baby June and her newsboys age was really cool and unexpected from the front row because you cant really tell that they change in height.

Scene 6: “Have an Eggroll Mr. Goldstone”
This song had me laughing so hard, everything about the scene was working perfectly and it was just so funny. The lyrics were brilliant and every single word of the song was as clear as day. Patti LuPone has amazing diction and her franticness was so funny.

“Little Lamb”
Before this scene I began rooting for Louise and this scene just really solidified my support and I assume the audiences support for Louise. Laura Benanti’s characterization was awesome and really life like.

Scene 7: “You’ll never get away from me”

To be honest I don’t really remember this scene too much. I think there was a part that we couldn’t see in the front row.

Scene 8: “Dainty June and Her Farm Boys”

This scene too was very funny. The contrast between Rose, Miss Cratchit and all of the other characters made for another very funny scene. This is the scene where the moo-ing cow came out and my friends and I had another good laugh because we were wondering what the heck the cow was for.

Scene 9: “If Momma was Married”

This song was amazing; the harmony between Benanti Larkin gave me the shivers. The scene also made me hate June slightly less because she too felt Rose’s overbearing nature.

Scene 10: “All I need is the Girl”

This scene made me go from thinking June is all right to hating her because she ran off with Tulsa. Benanti once again did such an amazing job portaying how hurt she was.

Scene 11: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”

Patti LuPone absolutely killed this song, it was amazing. This song ended the first act and I was absolutely floored, I couldn’t wait for the Second Act.

Act II:

Scene 1:
There wasn’t too much going on that struck me other than Mama Rose quickly brushing off Junes departure and quickly focusing on Louise to continue her quest for greatness through her kids.

Scene 2: “You Gotta Get a Gimmick”

My friends and I laughed so hard during this scene. The idea to have three much older ladies play burlesque dancers was brilliant. The contrast of old and burlesque was so funny and disturbing at the same time.

At this point I thought, “Damn, this show keeps getting better and better!”

Scene 4: “The Strip”

The way benanti goes from such a shy person to an overconfident burlesque queen was amazing. Everything about her characterization changed from her posture to her diction to her voice. It was awesome.

The one scene in the Garden of Eden one of the dancers came to the edge of the stage and held out an apple. After my previous experience with the newspaper I decided I wasn’t gonna reach for it, however this time the apple was actually being offered and it ended up getting thrown at me giving my friends another opportunity to laugh at me. Very cool nonetheless, another perk to being in the front row.

Scene 6: “Roses Turn”

This scene absolutely blew my mind, being right in the front row made this scene so intense. Patti looked like a mad woman ready to jump off the stage and kill someone. The end of the song Patti got a standing ovation and just hammed up all of the applause making it work for the scene.

I was shaking at this point and my face felt numb, this scene was the most powerful thing I had ever experience from stage. Absolutley Incredible, Patti LuPone absolutely knocked the number out of the park.

Overall reaction: Having known nothing about Gypsy I expected the revival to feel somewhat dated. I was so far from the truth. Gypsy felt so fresh and new and was way more than I expected it to be. I loved how the show starts off rather modest and just builds momentum making every number slightly better than the last until it ends with Rose’s Turn.

Gypsy just blew my mind and I can’t give it enough praise. I felt that the entire cast was amazingly talented and that I need to see this production again.

While some people say that the sets looks cheap, I think that they work for the tone of the piece, the play is set in a degrading vaudeville setting so the fact that the sets look cheap reflect this degradation.

I thought that everything in this production worked so well together and simply cannot give it enough praise. For those of you that didn’t enjoy Gypsy I feel sorry for you because it just blew my mind.

If you haven't seen Gypsy yet, go see it.
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#2
Posted: 5/24/08 at 10:49pm
And another one succumbs. Welcome to the club! re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)
Cheyenne Jackson tickled me. AFTER ordering SoMMS a drink but NOT tickling him, and hanging out with Girly in his dressing room (where he DIDN'T tickle her) but BEFORE we got married. To others. And then he tweeted Boobs. He also tweeted he's good friends with some chick on "The Voice" who just happens to be good friends with Tink's ex. And I'm still married. Oh, and this just in: "Pettiness, spite, malice ....Such ugly emotions... So sad." - After Eight, talking about MEEEEEEEE!!! I'm so honored! :-)
re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#2
Posted: 5/24/08 at 10:51pm
i saw dorothy stanley play tessie in the papermill production. i hope she got better.
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#3
Posted: 5/24/08 at 10:53pm
Ok, really, really, REALLY glad you had such an amazing experience at the show.

Can I please point out that Patti does not ham up those applause?

I saw a Saturday matinee and the same thing happened. People just kept clapping and clapping after that amazing song, and I don't think the full effect of it shines through. When I saw Bernadette Peters, she got a good amount of applause, but nothing like Patti's (please refrain from snarkiness). When it died down, she kept bowing and then Louise entered. And, the audience realized, "OH! She's really gone crazy and is imagining all thse applause!"

With Patti, that moment doesn't happen!! I don't know if it's just because she gets applause for about ten minutes or if Benanti enters too soon or what, but I LOVE that moment, and I missed it when I saw it!!!

These comments are not aimed at you in the slightest, mrkita08. If anything, I'm so thrilled you loved the show. But, that's been on my brain since the tenth, and your thread just happened to give me the opportunity to rant.

Some people paint, some people sew, I meddle.
re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#4
Posted: 5/24/08 at 11:06pm
I do suppose that ham was the wrong word to use. However in the front row I kept waiting for Patti to make eye contact with me but from the way it looked she wasn't making eye contact with anyone. To me at least it was clear that she had lost it. However she definitely makes the applause work for her.

But I can see what your saying that if the applause wasn't as long it would have made Rose seem insane, this however probably wouldn't happen because people just kept clapping. Because I hadn't seen the show I assumed it was the end so I just kept clapping waiting for curtain call.
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#5
Posted: 5/24/08 at 11:13pm
The world is filled with shows much better (IMO) than Spring Awakening, Young Frankenstein and Rent.

Welcome to the world of Broadway!
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#6
Posted: 5/24/08 at 11:13pm
I'm really starting to regret not having orchestra seats. I couldn't catch the nuances of Patti's Turn.

"Y'know, I think Bertolt Brecht was rolling in his grave."
-Nellie McKay on the 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, in which she played Polly Peachum
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#7
Posted: 5/25/08 at 12:32am
Patti LuPone has amazing diction

Now, I love Patti as much (or more) as the next poster, but this . . . isn't true.
I chose, and my world was shaken. So what? The choice may have been mistaken. The choosing was not.
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#8
Posted: 5/25/08 at 12:41am
Lovely review re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)
If I heard the bells and the banjos ring
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#9
Posted: 5/25/08 at 1:07am
I love that you experienced this so freshly. Your review is charming--even that you used the word "ham."

Someday you'll look back and realize this was one of the greatest theatergoing experiences of your life.
re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#10
Posted: 5/25/08 at 2:31am
ahhh yay!

YOU gave me chills explaining your reaction, especially post-Rose's Turn. Regardless of those on this board who continue posting awful reviews and awful comments about this revival...not one of us (them!) can honestly hate that you enjoyed it! There's nothing like that kind of experience at the theater!
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re: My Lenghty Gypsy Review (Spoilers?)#11
Posted: 5/25/08 at 7:37am
Theatrekid1015: You certainly have the right to wish that Patti LuPone had kept bowing even after "Rose's Turn" 's applause was finished. That piece of business started with Angela Lansbury's GYPSY in NYC; however when Lansbury played it in London, prior to bringing it to Broadway, she did not play it that way. (Yes, I saw it in London, too.) In NY I felt that Lansbury had been directed to bow to a quiet audience to make sure that the scene had been recognized as a mini-nervous breakdown, that the audience wouldn't "get it" unless she did that continued bowing. I disagree. The writing of "Rose's Turn" speaks for itself, with its repetitious "Momma, Momma, Momma's got to let go" etc. The additional bowing to me is like Rose is hitting us, the audience, over the head with a frying pan to make sure that we "got it". Merman just stood there, letting the applause engulf her. LuPone milks the applause, which adds to her at last getting the recognition that she craves, even if it is only in her imagination. It works better that way, for me, and the audience is not talked down to. We get it!

"Madam Rose...and her daughter...Gypsy!"
Updated On: 5/25/08 at 07:37 AM