Gypsy | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Gypsy Agenda Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 23 2014

"Madame Rose" Hovick, the lead character in this 1959 musical masterpiece, is one of the great roles in American drama—right up there with Blanche DuBois, Mary Tyrone, and Willy Loman—and Gary Griffin's superb stripped-down staging of the work rests squarely on the shoulders of Louise Pitre's fierce, flinty performance. As the desperate stage mother trying to groom her daughters for vaudeville stardom, Pitre is every bit the "pioneer woman without a frontier" Arthur Laurents's script calls for, and her gritty vocal texture and expressive phrasing bring out the nuances in Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne's brilliant score. The excellent supporting cast includes Erin Burniston and Jessica Rush as Rose's daughters, June and Louise (who blossoms into burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee), Keith Kupferer as Rose's lover Herbie, Rhett Guter as the Fred Astaire wannabe June elopes with, and Barbara E. Robertson as Tessie Tura, the shrewd stripper who teaches Louise the ecdysiast's art. —Albert Williams

Price: $48-$78

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