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Topic: Who Will Replace Bernie?

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AuthorTopic:   Who Will Replace Bernie?
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:
posted: 10/17/2003 at 12:35:03 AM ET
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I was wondering who you all think will replace bernadette after she leaves Gypsy. It is obvious the show needs a big name to carry on and didnt know who they were thinking of. Also, how long do you all think Bernie will stick with the show?
Gavin Brown

Annnie Get Your Rose
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posted: 10/17/2003 at 8:20:18 AM ET
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Im guessin the show might aswell end bc when bernadette left AGYG the show just pretty much died w/out her. Unless they get a big name star the show should end


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posted: 10/17/2003 at 9:31:19 AM ET
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i dont want to start waves, and this is my disclaimer: this is a rumor i heard from a friend who's info about broadway is hit or mis.....

he told me that the box office sales are not going well, Gypsy is playing to 40% houses, and it might end up closing before it's time... anyone else hear anything like this??


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posted: 10/17/2003 at 9:41:30 AM ET
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Well, I certainly haven't heard anything (we don't get any good gossip here in Maryland), but perhaps a fact would be helpful: Gypsy grossed $681,334, for attendance of 80.4% for Oct. 6-12. (Reference is, if you're interested.) That sounds OK to keep it running, but then I'm not the producer, and I don't know how much it needs to break even-or whatever the term is.

(A side note to Gavin Brown--not to be a curmudgen, but I believe that Bernadette does not like the nick name "Bernie". )

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New York City
posted: 10/17/2003 at 10:38:15 AM ET
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What's funny about plays (musicals, whatever) is that they are very precarious investments. How long a play can stay open all depends on how much money went into the production itself; sets, costumes, theatre renovations, salaries, etc. Sometimes, even if a theatre sells out every single show it STILL can't break even, and it ultimately must close early. (La Boheme is an example. Even 100% capacity would not be -- and was not -- enough.)

With Gypsy, it's hard to say. Given the fact that Bernadette's vacation saw a HUGE drop in ticket sales, I'd have to say that unless they get someone HUGE (not just a celebrity in general, but someone well known in both theatre and in movies, which is rare, and Bernadette is one of the few) then I can't see Gypsy lasting.

Not that Gypsy isn't good -- I love Gypsy. It's just not what's selling right now (if not for Bernadette.) It's not a huge, show-stopping, gag-a-minute Broadway concert like Mamma Mia or Hairspray, which is what is IN right now. Plus, the way those shows are set up, they could survive without the original cast members. In Gypsy, "Rose" carries the entire show. Rose IS the entire show. So without a big draw, it's tough to get people to pay $100 for tickets. I feel like... if ticket prices were lower, this wouldn't be an issue. But then, I'm not a theatre marketing exec, and I have no idea whether it's more profitable to sell less for more or sell more for less. Or if that would make a difference at all.

At any rate, I was there last night (YAY!) and the theatre was packed. (On a thursday night in October, which is out of season on a non "hot" day.) I can't speak for the mezz or balcony, but the orchestra was filled to capacity. The other two levels looked packed as well.

I think perhaps people are just getting the word that Bernadette is back from vacation; attendance has been slowly rising.

But again, this is a huge problem, that people are going just to see her. I mean, it's wonderful, but it's ultimately problematic for the show.

To answer the original question, I think, to replace Bernadette, I'm going to have to stick with my earlier pick and say Bette Midler. She's done Gypsy before, and I think if she got the chance to work with Laurents and Mendes personally, that she has it in her to really do great things with the role.

Honestly, though, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the producers' offices. You have to wonder who they're considering, given that they're probably taking it under consideration as we speak.

"A pretty sunset, is there?" asked Nanny, coming up to the witch's room in one of her rare forays.
"She's sent the crows out to blind the guests coming for dinner," said Liir.
"Well, that's one way to avoid having to dust, I suppose."
---------> WICKED, the Prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ (Gregory Maguire)

Annnie Get Your Rose
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posted: 10/17/2003 at 11:01:30 AM ET
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40% houses? not really only when she went on vacation. the show actually does very strong for being a show with limited dancing and group songs. Bette Midler would be a good replacement. She has done it b-f. But whoevery said they were only playin to 40% full houses and goin to close early i truly doubt u.


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New York

Fav. BP CD: I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
Fav. BP Song: Dublin Lady

posted: 10/17/2003 at 11:12:34 AM ET
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I've been keeping a close eye on ticket sales through Playbill. Gypsy was a VERY strong seller through August. It was in the 90s percentage wise for occupancy. Sometimes high 90s and sometimes low 90s. Once in the the high 80s and was often in the top 5 grossing shows on Broadway. So it was doing exceptionally well. In September it took a dip well into the 70s. This is a typical time for shows to do less that steller business. The staying power is getting through this slow time and getting the percentages back up when business picks up in November and December. Of course the last weekend of September saw a very low percentage due to Bernadette's vacation. But last weeks sales did put it back up in the 80s which I think is a very good showing for this time of year. If it stays steady, I think it shows good signs that this show will stay around for a while.

If the show started dipping in the summer or doesn't continue to bounce back from the Septmeber blahs then it might be in trouble.

I do definitely agree it needs a name in the part of Rose. It's a show that is so familar to everyone and they can see it in several good regional productions. The only reason to see it on Broadway and pay Broadway prices is if you are going to see a "star" in the role.

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