Will LuPone’s “Gypsy” Do Broadway?


The New York Post’s Michael Riedel certainly seems to think so. He writes:

If you missed director Arthur Laurents‘ thrilling revival of “Gypsy” at City Center this past summer (and if you did, you should still be kicking yourself), all may not be lost. There’s a plan afoot to reopen the show, with Patti LuPone (pictured here) as Momma Rose, at the St. James early next year. Roger Berlind, the courtly producer behind “Curtains,” is spearheading the move, which will cost about $9 million, a high price tag for a revival. Also in the mix is The Frankel Group, which produced “The Producers” and “Hairspray.” “They’re teetering on a decision this week,” says a source involved in the negotiations.

Agents for such cast members as Tony winner Boyd Gaines and the wonderful Laura Benanti have been asked to keep their clients free for what would be a limited engagement through the summer.

Next fall, the production is likely to go to London.

Laurents, who wrote the book to “Gypsy,” is pushing for the Broadway run. As he told The Post over the summer, he’d like to wipe away memories of Sam Mendes‘ lackluster 2000 revival with a smashing one of his own.

“Arthur does not want the last Broadway production of ‘Gypsy’ in his lifetime to be Sam’s,” a source says.

LuPone is also eager to do her Momma Rose bit on Broadway. She’d certainly be nominated for a Tony and would stand a good chance of winning.

But a $9 million “Gypsy” is no slam-dunk at the box office. Potential backers of the show are worried about the cool reception two Times critics gave LuPone’s performance.

(Other critics, including The Post’s Clive Barnes, raved about her and the production.)

A larger question is: Just how big is the audience now for the classic old Broadway shows? Smart producers I know believe that the audience has finally clicked over from the World War II generation to the baby-boom generation.

Your grandmother loved “South Pacific.” Your mother loves “Jersey Boys.”

Still, “Gypsy” is a great musical, and this revival deserves a shot at Broadway.

So screw your courage to the sticking place, boys, and fork over that $9 million.




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