A musical fable

St. James Theatre, (11/16/1989 - 1/06/1991)
Marquis Theatre, (4/28/1991 - 7/28/1991)

First Preview: Oct 27, 1989
Opening Date: Nov 16, 1989
Closing Date: Jul 28, 1991
Total Previews: 35
Total Performances: 581

Category: Musical, Drama, Revival, Broadway
Description: A musical in two acts
Setting: Various cities throughout the U.S. From the 1920s to the 1930s.
Comments: This production played 23 previews and 476 performances at the St. James Theatre; when it transferred to the Marquis Theatre, it played an additional 12 previews and 105 performances with an official re-opening date of April 28, 1991.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President)

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Kathy Levin and Barry Brown; Produced in association with Tokyo Broadcasting System Intl., Inc. and PACE Theatrical Group, Inc.

Book by Arthur Laurents; Music by Jule Styne; Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee; Musical Director: Eric Stern; Music orchestrated by Sid Ramin and Robert Ginzler; Dance arrangements by John Kander

Directed by Arthur Laurents; Mr. Robbins' choreography reproduced by Bonnie Walker; Original production directed by Jerome Robbins; Original production choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Scenic Design by Kenneth Foy; Costume Design by Theoni V. Aldredge; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by Peter Fitzgerald; Hair Design by Robert DiNiro and Alan E. Schubert; Make-Up Design by Robert DiNiro and Alan E. Schubert

General Manager: Alecia Parker; Company Manager: Nancy Nagel Gibbs and Jim Brandeberry

Production Supervisor: James Pentecost; Technical Supervisor: Arthur Siccardi; Production Stage Manager: Craig Jacobs; Stage Manager: Tom Capps

Musical Coordinator: John Monaco; Piano: Michael Rafter; Concertmaster / Piano: Joyce Hammann; Violin: Martha Mott-Gale, Byung Kook Kwak and Frank Wang; Viola: Susan Follari; Cello: Gregorio Follari and Bruce Wang; Harp: Pattee Cohen; Woodwinds: Edward Joffe, William Kerr, Peter Angelo, Andy Drelles and Ken Berger; 1st trumpet: Anthony Gorruso; Trumpet: Mike Ponella and Phil Granger; French Horn: Katie Dennis; Trombone: Morty Bullman and Dennis Elliott; Bass Trombone: George Moran; Bass: Bill Ellison; Drums: Glenn Rhian; Percussion: Bruce Doctor

Automation & Showdeck by Feller Precision

Casting: Stuart Howard and Amy Schecter; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; General Press Representative: Shirley Herz Associates; Press Representative: Robert Larkin; Assistant to the Director: Richard Sabellico; Dance Captain: Bonnie Walker; Photographer: Robert Ragsdale

Dedicated to the memory of Fritz Holt

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Opening Night Cast

Tyne DalyRose
Jonathan HadaryHerbie
Crista MooreLouise
Robert LambertTulsa
Tracy VennerJune
Mace BarrettWeber
Jim BracchittaPastey
Demetri CallasNewsboy
Ronn CarrollPop
Bobby John CarterClarence (and his classic clarinet)
Danny CistoneNewsboy
Barbara ErwinMiss Cratchitt
Tessie Tura
Barbara FoltsHollywood Blonde
Teri FurrHollywood Blonde
Paul GeraciFlagstaff
Jeana HaegeBalloon Girl
Ned HannahKansas
Tony HotyUncle Jocko
Lori Ann MahlAgnes
Kristen MahonBaby Louise
Anna McNeelyElectra
Nancy MeliusHollywood Blonde
Jason MinorNewsboy
Bruce MooreYonkers
Michele PigliaventoHollywood Blonde
Ginger PrinceMaid
John RemmeGeorge
Mr. Goldstone
Jana RobbinsMazeppa
Robin RobinsonHollywood Blonde
Christen TassinBaby June
Alec TimermanSt. Paul
Craig WaletzkoL.A.

Swings: Julie Graves and Eric H. Kaufman

Standby: Mace Barrett (Herbie), Michele Pigliavento (Louise), Ginger Prince (Electra, Mazeppa, Miss Cratchitt, Tessie Tura) and Jana Robbins (Rose)

Understudies: Jim Bracchitta (George, Mr. Goldstone), Teri Furr (Agnes, June), Jeana Haege (Baby June, Baby Louise), Tony Hoty (Cigar, Phil, Weber), John Remme (Bougeron-Cochon, Pastey, Pop) and Alec Timerman (Tulsa)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

winner 1990 Best Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Tyne Daly

 1990 Best Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Jonathan Hadary

 1990 Best Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Crista Moore

 1990 Best Costume Design [nominee] 

Theoni V. Aldredge

winner 1990 Best Revival [winner] 

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Kathy Levin and Barry Brown

Drama Desk Award

winner 1990 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Tyne Daly

 1990 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Jonathan Hadary

 1990 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Crista Moore

winner 1990 Outstanding Revival [winner] 

Produced by Barry & Fran Weissler, Kathy Levin and Barry Brown; Produced in association with Tokyo Broadcasting System Intl., Inc. and PACE Theatrical Group, Inc.

Theatre World

winner 1990 Award [recipient] 

Robert Lambert

winner 1990 Award [recipient] 

Crista Moore


music by Jule Styne; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

ACT 1 Sung By
May We Entertain YouBaby June and Baby Louise
Some PeopleRose
Small WorldRose and Herbie
Mr. Goldstone, I Love YouRose and Ensemble
Little LambLouise
You'll Never Get Away From MeRose and Herbie
If Momma Was MarriedLouise and June
All I Need Is the GirlTulsa and Louise
Everything's Coming Up RosesRose
ACT 2 Sung By
Madame Rose's ToreadorablesLouise and Toreadorables
Together, Wherever We GoRose, Louise and Herbie
You Gotta Get a GimmickTessie Tura, Mazeppa and Electra
Small World (Reprise) Rose
Let Me Entertain YouLouise and Company
Rose's TurnRose


New York Daily News: "With a great 'Gypsy,' who need gimmicks?"

The solidity and power of "Gypsy" are clear in the revival directed by Arthur Laurents, which, after a cross-country journey, has arrived at the St. James, where it will certainly make its home for a long time to come.

The story of Gypsy Rose Lee's youth was a logical vehicle for the original director-choreographer, Jerome Robbins, to pay affectionate tribute to vaudeville and burlesque. They were the antecedents of the more serious musical theater Robbins had helped to shape.

It was the last musical Robbins did before "Fiddler on the Roof." "Fiddler" was about the immigrants who were the parents of many of the people who created the Broadway musical theater and composed its audience.

So, in a way, is "Gypsy." Mama Rose, the indomitable promoter of her two children, is also a representative of that second generation who, with monomaniacal ambition and drive, paved the way for the third generation to live respectably (and come to loathe their forebears' pushiness and vulgarity).

If Robbins was the organizational, galvanizing force, he had a brilliant team working with him. Laurents' book is as impressive as it was 30 years ago, a model of economy and wit that takes what could be a collection of showbiz anecdotes and gives them dramatic tension.

Stephen Sondheim's lyrics may have become more complex and inventive over the years, but the pungency and sharpness here are already the marks of a master.

Jule Styne's score is one of the marvels of the Broadway theater. Unfailingly melodic, every phrase seems charged with drama. A song like "Everything's Coming Up Roses," now a standard, brings the first act curtain down with a surge of emotion quite rare nowadays. Even the simplest numbers have great musical and dramatic canniness.

"Gypsy" is a useful reminder of how sturdy good "book musicals" are. Few of the old musicals have books as tight as Laurents', but they all depended on character development. Often revivals have floundered not because the books were bad but because the actors weren't up do their demands. "Concept shows," which have been in fashion for some time and which are less compelling every season, are even harder to revive, because they hinge on abstractions.

"Gypsy" has been due for a revival for some time. Several years ago, I proposed to a producer that he mount a permanent production. He could start with Dorothy Loudon, than Bette, than Barbra. I would even put up with Liza while we waited for Bernadette to reach the right age.

I did not put Tyne Daly on the list, and, having seen her, I'm still not sure she belongs there. She has the energy; she has a resilient, though not very sizable voice, but she's not the Force of Nature you need for the monstrous, heroic Rose. Much of the time she seems more like a cheerleader for her daughters than their relentless promoter. She builds up steam at the end of each act when she finally lets her determination and anger show through. In several of her big numbers, she's been given a lot of hand movements, which distract from and diminish the power of the songs.

Still, fans who come to see her will have a much better introduction to theater than those who go to see Sting in his show. Her mild-mannered approach may make Rose palatable to a generation for whom the desperation of other, darker times is a mystery.

Jonathan Hadary makes the hapless Herbie wonderfully endearing. Crista Moore is an appealing Gypsy even though she does not make a convincing stripper. Christen Tassin is an adorable Baby June. I hope I live long enough to see her play Rose. Barbara Erwin, Jana Robbins and Anna McNeely have just enough excess flesh to make the old strippers believably hilarious. They also have the pizazz to make "You Gotta Have a Gimmick" the show-stopper it must be. Robert Lambert sails through "All I Need Now Is the Girl" beautifully. The show is well cast and, under Laurents' direction, its virtues come through splendidly.

Kenneth Foy has designed an evocative false proscenium and otherwise effective sets. Theoni Aldredge's costumes capture the frowziness and glitz of Mama Rose's world perfectly. Eric Stern's musical direction is solid. You come away from this revival with renewed admiration for the show itself, and that's as it should be.

New York Daily News

New York Post: "'Gypsy' stripped of spirit"

There are some shows that literally seem to breathe Broadway - their music has that special belt and bounce, there is an authority in their entire manner. The Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim musical "Gypsy," is very definitely of that company.

It has the classic timelessness of a vintage Broadway musical. Yet everything isn't quite coming up roses with its current revival, which brought it back to Broadway at the St. James Theater last night.

Broadway musicals are far more tricky things to revive than plays or operas. The trouble is that people usually try to revive them far to slavishly - trying, at least to some degree, to recapture the spirit and often, more perilously, even the look and sound of the original.

Arthur Laurents, author of the original book, which was suggested by the memoirs of that stripper-extraordinaire, Gypsy Rose Lee, is the director of the present production, following in the lively footsteps of Jerome Robbins, who staged the original just about 30 years ago.

Laurents, of course, was also responsible for the musical's earlier successful Broadway revival in 1974, and he certainly knows his way around the show. For this production - new, if slightly dowdy - scenery has been ordered up from Kenneth Foy, and there are new costume designs by Theoni V. Aldredge.

Indeed, so far as the physical production goes, only the choreography by Robbins - here reproduced by the dance captain, Bonnie Walker - remains. Yet somehow the show looks second-hand and dry-cleaned - something the 1974 production did not.

And I suspect that the reason for this may lie in the awesome adequacy, but nothing much more awe-inspiring, of its new leading lady, Tyne Daly, making a gallant Broadway debut in the legendary role of Rose.

This is no ordinary part - it won a Tony nomination for its originator Ethel Merman, and, 15 years later, an actual Tony Award for her successor, Angela Lansbury.

It is not merely the leading role. Rose, the quintessential stage mother, is the motive force, the motor, the dynamo, the very engine of the entire show.

Styne's gorgeously brassy music and Sondheim's subtly joyous lyrics obviously play a massive part in the musical's success - it is one of those rare shows where you can listen to the cast album for hours. There is not really one clinker among the whole batch of musical numbers.

But Laurents' masterly book is equally important. It has a wonderful dramatic drive and development, helped by its background of the eroding world of American vaudeville during the '20s and '30s, and dominated by the grotesque figure of Rose, a frustrated woman determined to have a vicarious showbiz triumph through her daughters.

Merman was a monster - with a whim of iron and lungs of steel - while Lansbury, more human, more vulnerable, offered a Rose of the most surprising charm. Both were, in their way, monumental.

Daly goes through the motions with a trouper-like diligence, and loving histrionic care. She mugs to the audience a shade too much (a common fault in TV-conditioned performers) but sings most effectively - although like everything else, she is slightly over-amplified.

But she is not a drop-dead original. She is not a Rose. She is someone playing Rose - and interestingly the only time when she really comes into her own is right at the end, in that fantasy number "Rose's Turn," where Rose, finally, if ironically, defeated by her daughter's success, belts out her own show-business anthem.

With Merman and Lansbury this became so compelling that you wondered why on earth some talent scout hadn't discovered the woman and already featured her in her own show!

Daly is not that good - merely loud and strident and aggressive, and as an odd result this ineptitude gives the finale a poignancy it never had before, because you realize that she is not really that sensational. But the price for that poignancy is too much.

The company surrounding Daly seems to have been hand-picked to cause her as little competition as possible. They are not bad, merely very, very quiet.

As Louise (the ugly duckling who becomes the world's stripper), Crista Moore starts nondescript and remains nondescript. She has a nice moment or two when she is first discovering her sexual allure on the runway, but most of the time she wilts.

Jonathan Hadary as the henpecked agent Herby (a role played by the likes of Jack Klugman for Merman and, in London, Barrie Ingham) is meant to be harassed and ineffectual, but not this ineffectual, not virtually unnoticeable.

Robert Lambert does conventionally well as the juvenile, and Christen Tassin is humorously horrendous as Baby Jne. But the most striking performances - the only ones to give Daly a run for her stridency - come from the three hard-bitten, soft-centered strippers in the "Gotta Have a Gimmick" trio, Barbara Erwin, Jana Robbins and Anna McNeely.

So - this "Gypsy" is not bad. It might keep a few camp fires burning, but it is not as fantastic as it needed to be.

It is a show that called for rethinking rather than reviving. In another 30 years someone will come along who has never even seen "Gypsy" - or imagines it's a poor movie with Rosalind Russell. And he or she will start from scratch, and the finish will be fresh.

Unfortunately, fresh is what this "Gypsy" isn't.

New York Post

Replacement/Transfer Info

The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.

St. James Theatre

(11/16/1989 - 1/6/1991)

Company Manager: Barbara Darwall.


Gregory Carter
Tyne Daly
Rose (Apr 18, 1991 - Jul 28, 1991)
Barbara Folts
Paul Geraci
Linda Lavin
Rose (Jul 30, 1990 - ?)
Crista Moore
Kevin Petitto
Jana Robbins
Rose (Feb 20, 1990 - Feb 24, 1990)
Lance Robinson
Robin Robinson
Jamie Ross
Herbie (Oct 30, 1990 - ?)
Stan Rubin
Uncle Jocko
Alec Timerman

Swing: Cory English.

Understudy: Stan Rubin (Cigar, Phil, Weber).

Marquis Theatre

(4/28/1991 - 7/28/1991)


Jeff Brooks
Susan Cremin
Baby June
Cory English
St. Paul
Thomas Fox
Paul Geraci
Richard Levine
Kevin Petitto
Victor Raider-Wexler
Mr. Goldstone
Stan Rubin
Uncle Jocko
Tony Yazbeck

Swing: Laurie Crochet, George Smyros.

Understudy: Victor Raider-Wexler (Bougeron-Cochon, Cigar, Pastey, Pop), Stan Rubin (Phil, Weber), Craig Waletzko (Tulsa).

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