Gypsy: A Musical Fable
Gypsy is an ongoing play at the Stanley Industrial Theatre until July 8. Issam Zeibak reviews the Friday, June 1 show which proved to be nothing less than spectacular.
The Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre was full last Friday with a large and eager audience. They were seated behind a stage which eventually featured a fantastic rendition of Jule Styne's vaudeville/burlesque musical Gypsy. The musical progressed over the night with high notes of hope, low notes of depression and even lower notes of the dim reality each of the musical's characters faced.
The sets add to the musical's overall atmosphere, exaggerated vaudeville and old brick house walls piece together hints of the poor early twenties and thirties. It features the magnificent Barbra Barsky as Mama Rose, a woman so determined to live out her dream of being in the spotlight she drags everyone she can into it. This includes her daughters Louise (Lauren Bowler) and June (Melissa Young), along with her agent and lover Herbie (Andrew Wheeler). As the play progresses it shed its characters until we are left with no one but Bowler as "The Queen of Striptease" and Rose with her obsession to "make" it.
Friday’s show did everything it needed to do. The characters developed and struggled. The choreography and numbers were great (with the amazing Everything's Coming Up Roses, the over-the-top You Gotta Get a Gimmick and the shocking Let Me Entertain You). Overall I have only one complaint with Gypsy. The main characters did not hold back on their acts while some of the others did. This left me with a slightly hollow feeling when Rose closed singing Rose's Turn. It's as if the rest of the play had not caught up with her.
Nonetheless, I recommend Gypsy to anyone willing to see a marvelous musical this summer. Let it entertain you. You'll have a real good time.
For more info on Gypsy, go to http://www.artsclub.com/onstage/20062007/gypsy.htm