Grab onto this musical masterpiece with all your might.
There may be strippers, adorable kiddies and dancing cows in this show, but its story belongs to a gutsy Seattle mama loaded with dreams.
Musicals don't get much better than Gypsy, and with her powerful and beautiful voice, Broadway's Judy Kaye was born to play Mama Rose. Kaye is absolutely sensational as the overbearing stage mother who relentlessly pushes her daughters, Baby June and Baby Louise (future stripper Gypsy Rose Lee), into show biz. If Mama doesn't have an angle, she invents one, which attracts gentlemen like Herbie, tenderly portrayed by Stephen Godwin.
Finely directed by Mark Waldrop, Gypsy casts a loving--and often humorous--glance at Vaudville's heyday, eventually toppled by burlesque houses full of titty-tough strippers bumping and grinding for bucks. Anne Allgood (Mazeppa), Carolyn Magoon (Tessie Tura) and Angie Rolfs (Electra) almost steal the show with "You Gotta Have a Gimmick," a singing guide to tossing your duds. In a twist of fate, Sloan Just, as Gypsy Rose Lee, leaps from pupil to headliner by baring her elegant new tricks in the legendary "Let Me Entertain You." But this musical's tour de force will forever be "Rose's Turn," when Mama Rose struts her stuff for the world to see. Judy Kaye belts this number home--as well as the show--with an unforgettable wallop.
On opening night, Tigger, in the doggie role of "Chowski," behaved better than ten tacky wannabes who tromped out of the front rows during "Rose's Turn." Such ill-mannered Huns should sit in the back or stay home in their trailers and watch wrestling. They owe Kaye and the rest of the audience an apology.
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