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Topic: Daily Mail review

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AuthorTopic:   Daily Mail review
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
posted: 6/23/2003 at 11:02:51 PM ET
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Don't know if the Mail is one of the London tabloids. Too bad Blanchard didn't acutally win the Tony. Writers would have more credibility if they could get simple facts right, but the review is positive so here it is. I left in the Nine review too
MAMMA OF ALL GYPSY ROSES . . . ; broadway
Daily Mail; London (UK); Jun 20, 2003; MICHAEL COVENEY;

GYPSY, the musical fable of a pushy mother and her daughters crossing
America in the last days of Vaudeville, is the King Lear of musical theatre,
and one of the greatest shows of the past century.

The current revival of Gypsy, directed by Sam Mendes, which I saw last
weekend on a visit to Broadway, is pure pleasure from start to finish.

It even manages to subvert Kenneth Tynan's famous comment on the 1959
premiere that the musical tapers off from perfection in the first act to
mere brilliance in the second.

Mamma Rose, a pioneer woman without a frontier, is the mother of all stage
mothers from hell, pushing her ghastly Baby June into every spotlight while
secretly wishing to be there herself.

When June defects with a dancer in Omaha, Rose immediately switches to
promoting her much quieter, elder daughter, Louise.

When they find themselves in a burlesque house in Wichita, Louise is
compelled to try stripping. In a glorious, condensed sequence of snapshot
tableaux, she is transformed into the real-life Gypsy Rose Lee.

Mamma tops even that with her own solo turn on an empty stage, where
everything's coming up roses. Not only do we love Bernadette Peters as the
monstrous Mamma Rose, we are transfixed by her vitality and sadness.

I never saw Ethel Merman, the original Mamma (Rosalind Russell was the
surprise film casting), but I have seen Angela Lansbury, Dolores Gray, Tyne
Daly and Sheila Hancock in this role. And I'm here to tell you that not one
of those brilliant performers touched Miss Peters in her extraordinary
mixture of brazen vulnerability and flirtatious sexiness.

The other great asset here is the Tony award-winning performance of Tammy
Blanchard as Louise, a girl so beautiful in her stillness and sweetness that
her blossoming is simply sensational.

The music and lyrics of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim are as sassy and
energetic as ever, while Arthur Laurents's book holds the whole thing
together like cyanide-flavoured glue. THE other big Broadway musical
revival, Nine, starring Antonio Banderas, is somewhat skinny in comparison.
Unlike the gorgeous 1982 original directed by Tommy Tune (and starring the
peerless Raul Julia), David Leveaux's production - not dissimilar to his
Donmar Warehouse revival - it lacks real class and style.

Antonio, small and neat, is certainly cute as the film director Guido
Contini trying to unravel his life with many women while seeking an idea for
his next film. Not surprisingly, this turns out to be Casanova.

And he sings well. But he doesn't really convince you that he feels anything
while striking matadorish poses.

Although the setting is a Venetian spa, it seems daft to flood the stage
with water in the second act. No one ever looks good while paddling, not
even Chita Rivera, Broadway's most electrifying senior citizen, as Guido's
demanding producer.

The women descend awkwardly down a spiral staircase to seduce and goad
Guido, who is simultaneously trapped in the memory of his own childhood on
the day of his ninth birthday.

Maury Yeston's dreamily operatic score is a delight, and his lyrics never
less than civilised. But there is a curious deadness compared to the
restless mobility of Gypsy.

The story is not all that clearly projected, and the 'turns' have a
desperation typified in Jane Krakowski (Elaine Vassal in Ally McBeal)
suspended upside down in a vertical sheath to deliver her big number.

You gawp and forget to listen, which was not the case in 1982 when Anita
Morris slithered along white tiles like an inflamed panther in a black mesh

The nearly nude Miss Krakowski merely looks like an upended hooker on a bad
hair (and costume) day. Needless to say, she, too, won a Tony. SO - MORE
justifiably - did our own Vanessa Redgrave, who is giving one of the
greatest performances of our time as Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long
Day's Journey Into Night.



Registered User


posted: 6/24/2003 at 2:35:56 PM ET
View Jenny_loves_bernadette's profile  Get Jenny_loves_bernadette's email address  Send a Personal Message to Jenny_loves_bernadette  See Jenny_loves_bernadette's Photo Collection!  Edit/Delete this message  Reply with a quote  

yes, my brother in law gets the daily mail and cut that our for me!

they say bernadette's wonderful..........and she is
xx Jenny xx

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