February 6

March 23, 2014

in CST's Courtyard Theater

a Musical Fable
book by Arthur Laurents
music by Jule Styne
lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
directed by Gary Griffin

Critical Acclaim

“Highly recommended! A Gypsy that steals your heart. Every element of this marvelously detailed, ideally cast production bursts with intelligence, emotional heat and truth. The magic here begins from the moment you enter the theater and feel the golden embrace of designer Kevin Depinet’s magnificent arabesque of a proscenium arch. The beauty of the set captures the gilded spirit of the show biz world that so clearly has entranced Rose. And then it all comes alive as the exceptional 14-piece orchestra, perched above the stage, and led by Valerie Maze, blazes forth with an overture bursting with the show’s many irresistible songs: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Small World,” “You’ll Never Get Away from Me,” “Let Me Entertain You,” and more. Pitre, petite and graceful, with the somewhat worn face of “a pioneer woman without a frontier” (as Herbie describes her) is remarkable in her ability to move seamlessly from scene to song. And when it comes time for her great, angry confession/tirade, “Rose’s Turn,” she is volcanic.”
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    In stunning Gypsy, a Mama Rose at the crossroads. Director Gary Griffin's emotional Chicago Shakespeare Theater revival of this iconic title is certainly the best Gypsy in Chicagoland for years (and I have seen many). Louise Pitre, its fearless and tireless star…unifies Rose's numbers and the show's story of wearying persistence with uncommon intensity. Fueled by a formidable force of will and phenomenal technique, Pitre's performance is well-connected to every human being (and the odd live animal) she encounters on her journey. Jessica Rush is an emotional well as Louise. This very talented actress clearly gets that Louise is there, fundamentally, to show the consequences of Rose's dream, its effect on those she loves. Few Louises have made it so persistently clear they'd really and truly rather go home with Mama Rose and her loving guy Herbie (played, with pain, by Keith Kupferer) than work any kind of act in any theater on God's earth, and that such a desire still applies when Louise has become the highest-paid stripper in America.”

“It is utterly smashing from start to finish and is sheer magic on a stage. If you only have one musical to see this year, let it be this one. You will, no matter how many times you may have seen it before, find yourself seeing it in a new light. “

“Featuring a brassy toe-tapping vaudevillian score from Jule Styne and clever lyrics for a young Stephen Sondheim, Gypsy is the quintessential backstage Broadway musical that audiences adore. Any production ofGypsy depends on who plays Mama Rose. I happy to report that Louise Pitre is outstanding (one of the best to every play the role!). Her strong, emotionally determined stage mother, commands all her scenes. She is small in height but a giant in her scenes. Gary Griffin’s production of Gypsy is flawless, fast-paced, well acted and superbly sung and danced. Who could ask for anything more?”

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