August 1, 2008

Patti LuPone does, indeed, LuPwn

I became aware of Broadway musicals at a fairly young age (8) thanks to my sisters who constantly played tunes from Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables, and as a matter of fact, one of my first ever CDs was the original Broadway cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera. Gypsy was one of the shows that I've known about for a long time and never thought I'd actually be able to see it. But we finally got a chance to watch it earlier this week, and with the amazing Patti LuPone headlining the show, it was quite an experience.

As you all know, Gypsy is based on the memoirs of actress and burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, yet it focuses more on ultimate momager Rose Hovick, who could give Dina Lohan a run for her money. She is often described as a "monster," one who would do absolutely anything to propel her daughter to stardom and pouring out her frustrations on her children. The character could have easily swung in that direction, but Ms. LuPone was somehow able to turn Rose into a fairly sad woman who elicits sympathy.

Speaking of Ms. LuPone, the people in the audience nearly lost their dinner due to the announcement before the show: "Also, Ms. Patti LuPone has injured her foot"--insert skipped heartbeats, gasps, horrified expressions of shock, and barely-contained wails of despair--"and will be wearing Isotoners during the entire show." That totally got us all going.

All in all, it was quite a show, with solid performances from the cast all around. Here are photographs of Boyd Gaines (Herbie) and Ms. Patti LuPone herself at the stage door.


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