Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gypsy; The Tuesday after the Tonys

Did you feel the earth shaking in the theatre district last night? It was about 8:15 or so when Patti LuPone made her entrance with, "SING OUT, LOUISE!" She took the stage and assumed her position in front of Baby June. Baby June and Baby Louise were beaming and trying so hard not to break character. The standing ovation was so long and thunderous that she finally turned around and took a bow. The audience finally settled down and the show went on. When Boyd Gaines entered, there was another round of loud applause and Patti gave him a great smile. The real trouble began when Laura Benanti as Louise was attempting to wake up the boys with the alarm clock. No ovation, but the applause was overwhelming. She almost lost it - she put her hands to her eyes and was shaking with sobs. The announcer came on the P.A. and scolded, "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!" Afraid of the consequences, we settled down once again. The audience didn't lose control again until after Rose's Turn, when once again we jumped to our feet for Patti. Her voice is unbelievably powerful - I am stunned everytime I hear her live - and she is indeed "giving a performance of [her] life!"

(photo by Aubrey Reuben for Playbill)

7 comments:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

WOW!!!

HughE Dillon said...

That is just wrong that they corrected you. We all know there is the 4th wall, but I think it's ok to break it for special occasions. Thanks for writing this and for teaching me about the tradition of going to a show after it wins a Tony, I had no idea.

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

I was sitting in front of the sound booth. What happened was that the cue for the alarm clock finished and in trying to start it over, he hit the wrong button and the intermission announcement started accidentally. I heard him explaining it to the stage manager immediately following.

Theatre Aficionado at Large said...

And for the fun it was, I'm kinda with Noah. She's gotten too broad in the beginning. So much so I almost had a sinking feeling in my heart. The performance we saw last night was not the nuanced superlative-laden one we saw on opening night. In fact, if anything, the marquee should read "Laura Benanti is Gypsy" as I now feel it's her show from start to finish, her performance is just that staggering.

SarahB said...

TAAL, I wish you hadn't shared that info with us about the mistake with the sound cue. I prefer to think we were being scolded. And I do not agree with the "hamming" or "broadness" that you and Noah see. There is some which I think is necessary, but not overall. Or maybe I just don't care so I choose to ignore it.

Christine H said...

That was truly the best performance I have seen Patti give. Hamminess aside considering her giddy mood, she really toned it down (from when I saw it on Sunday). Every word out of her mouth was clear and executed correctly depending on the mood of the moment. And didn't you just love her fixing of her isotoners during "Some People" ;)
She doesn't miss a beat.

There is nothing better than the energy of an audience for a first show back after Tony wins.

Laura was truly captivating. Fourth wall aside, I'm glad she felt the moment of knowing how proud and happy everyone is for your first Tony win. I imagine it IS a very emotional moment (in the show, not at the Tonys).

I feel bad now knowing that it was a button mishap and not a scolding. Though that applause would have gone on for quite some time had that not happened. lol So maybe it's a good thing that it happened.

Esther said...

Wow, what an exciting, awesome night! What a great tradition, to see the first show after the Tonys. Thanks for describing it in all its glorious detail. Last summer at Encores was the first time I'd ever heard Patti live. Until then, I basically knew and loved her from the tv series "Life Goes On." Unbelievably powerful is right! She is just thrilling to watch. I'll never forget being part of a wildly cheering ovation after "Everything's Coming up Roses." And I agree with TAAL about Laura Benanti's staggering performance. She blew me away. Her transformation really is such a big part of the story. But I don't want to take anything away from Ms. LuPone. She's pretty staggering, too. And Boyd Gaines brings so much dignity to Herbie. It's really a terrific cast all around.