Broadway diva extraordinaire Patti Lupone, who recently garnered kudos for playing Mama Rose in the latest Broadway revival of Gypsy, will appear in conversation at the 92nd Street Y’s Buttenwieser Hall on February 4 at 8:15pm. Tony Award winner Lupone, whose most notable credits include Evita, Anything Goes, and Sweeney Todd, will discuss her distinguished career at the event.
On January 4, nine Broadway shows closed, but unfortunately that’s not the end of the carnage. On Sunday, January 11, All My Sons, Gypsy, and Monty Python’s Spamalot also finish their Broadway runs.
Believe it or not, Broadway producers have found yet another way to fleece Broadway theatergoers. First they decided to start charging the same price for the entire orchestra section, then they started selling the very best seats for insanely high “premium seat” prices, and now some of them have decided to mark up the aisle seats as well. Many people prefer the aisle because of the added leg room, and now those people are going to have to pay extra for that comfort. Only a few Broadway shows – Gypsy, Spring Awakening, and the upcoming Broadway revival of The Seagull – have adopted the higher aisle seat pricing so far, but history has shown that once one Broadway show introduces a higher pricing model, the others soon follow. The upcharge amounts to about $15-$25, depending on the show. Furthermore, these higher-priced Broadway aisle seats are only sold in pairs, meaning that one person is paying the aisle price without even getting the benefit. What will they think of next?
It’s one of those Big Event productions that the die-hard Broadway lovers live for: Patti Lupone in Gypsy. Ever since her turn as Eva Peron in Evita on Broadway, big-voiced Patti Lupone has been a favored diva, a modern Ethel Merman. And Gypsy, with its powerhouse creative team (Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins), is a classic musical of Broadway’s Golden Age. To bring Lupone and Gypsy together … well, what could be better? The audience response has been tremendous, with people giving Ms. Lupone standing ovations at the end of her solo “Rose’s Turn” (it’s very rare to see a standing O during a show). With the show now open, the reviews are pouring in, and already the New York Times has given it a rave. Better get your tickets now!
Arthur Laurents, bookwriter for West Side Story, recently indicated that he plans to bring a brand new version of the legendary musical to the Broadway stage. He claims that he’s found a way to “update” the story (which is already an update of Romeo & Juliet) without changing any of the text. No details available as of yet, but in the meantime, we can look forward to the Laurents-directed revival of Gypsy (for which he also wrote the book), arriving on Broadway in early ’08.
In all the joyous hubbub surrounding the end of the Broadway strike, an interesting little bit of news nearly got lost: Beloved Broadway diva Patti Lupone will be hitting the Great White Way in Gypsy early next year. This latest production of Gypsy, which met with much acclaim during a brief engagement at City Center this summer, will open on Broadway on March 27, 2008. Tony winner Lupone has appeared on Broadway numerous times, most notably as the star of the original Broadway production of Evita.