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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at the City Center, New York

By David Lefkowitz

  Patti LuPone

Curtain up, light the lights!

That's what City Center will be doing in July, when they expand their super-popular Encores! series with an additional summer show, the inaugural one being 1959's immortal Gypsy.

Running July 9-29 and officially opening July 12, the staging will differ from typical Encores! concert revivals in that it will be fully staged, with sets and costumes. Also likely to make Gypsy a hot ticket is its star, Patti LuPone. La LuPone, a Tony winner for Evita, already has experience as Mama Rose, since she appeared in a concert staging of the tuner in Chicago last August.

An even-more-experienced Gypsy hand will direct the Encores! production: Arthur Laurents, who wrote the show's lauded book, based on the memoirs of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Songs in the Julie Styne/Stephen Sondheim score include "Some People," "Little Lamb," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and perhaps the ultimate 11 o'clock number, "Rose's Turn."

Prior to the summer Gypsy, entries in this year's Encores! series included another Sondheim show, Follies (whose February concert has started talk of a Broadway transfer), the upcoming Berlin-Hart tuner, Face the Music (March 29-April 1), and a newly conceived, best-of pastiche, Stairway to Paradise: 50 Years of Revue in Review.

According to the Encores! section of City Center's website (, when the series was founded in 1994, the idea was to present classic or neglected musicals in simple, book-in-hand concert versions. However, the series' success has led to somewhat more elaborate stagings and directorial choices.

To date, the jewel in the Encores! crown remains its 1996 Chicago, which made the leap to Broadway with nary an extra stitch of costuming or an extra plank of wood. A 2000 Wonderful Town, with Donna Murphy, also reached the Great White Way, while Gary Griffin's 2005 mounting of The Apple Tree with Kristin Chenoweth became the basis for this season's Roundabout revival of that Bock-Harnick show.


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