Gypsy (review)

Gypsy_Jeff Busby 1

Considered one of the greatest American musicals of all-time with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents, Gypsy was inspired by the memoirs of the famous burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee, and charts the story of her outrageous mother, Rose, who is determined to live out her own dreams of stardom through her two daughters.

Starring as the ultimate stage mother, there are not enough superlatives to describe O’Connor’s powerhouse portrayal of Rose. O’Connor drives this production, instrumental in delivering many Broadway classics including Everything’s Coming up Roses, Some People and Rose’s Turn. The supporting cast had the potential to be somewhat overshadowed, but step up to mark under Gale Edwards magic Direction.

Christina Tan’s Louise convincingly grows from dour tom-boy in act one to famous burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee in act two. Matt Hetherington struggles vocally as would be suitor Herbie, while Nathan Pinnell shines as the ambitious Tulsa and demonstrates he’s a star in the making in All I Need Is The Girl.

Chloe Dallimore, Nicki Wendt and Anne Wood’s treatment of three jaded strippers in You Gotta Have a Gimmick was a show-stopper in the making.

Adam Gardnir’s raked set is effectively simple allowing Paul Jackson & Robert Cuddon’s lighting to set the mood with a rich colour palette. Andrew Hallsworth’s choreography is energetically polished, Orchestra Victoria under the baton of Musical Director Guy Simpson produced a luscious Broadway sound complimenting the performances around them.

State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne
Season continues to 14 July 2013
Bookings: 1300 136 166 or online at:

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Image: Caroline O’Connor stars as Rose in Gypsy (photo by Jeff Busby)

Review: Rohan Shearn