Before Toddlers With Tiaras and Dance Moms… There Was Rose!


A Review of Gypsy by Dewey Oriente and Tony Cassidy

It was swell! It was great! Opening night of  Gypsy at Bristol Riverside Theatre was first rate! What can be called the crowning jewel of BRT’s 25th Anniversary Season Gypsy, starring the four-time Tony Award nominated Broadway veteran Tovah Feldshuh, moved the audience (especially these two
reviewers) in a way that we have never seen Rose portrayed. Tovah’s take on the iconic role took the character from the highs and lows living her life vicariously through her daughter’s careers and wrapped them up in a truly unique package of when her character needed to take action, the fire in her eyes and the raving richness of her bellowing voice showed that she was a force to be reckoned with. Tovah’s Rose never shuts down, as we can see she is always simmering even when she is in the background. We have seen many a Rose take us on the journey, but this would be the first time we felt the driving force pushing us into the story as she pushed her daughters into theirs. Mazal Tov to you, Tovah for this truly rare look into Rose’s life.

More after the jump.
Tovah’s brilliant portrayal of Rose was complemented by the wonderful talents of Emmy Award Nominee Robert Newman as Herbie and the delightful Amanda Rose as Louise. Broadway should prepare itself for its next “song and dance” man, Joe Grandy, whose portrayal of Tulsa solidified that this talented young man is going to be a star! Mr. Grandy executed Kathryn Kendall’s choreography brilliantly and truly made the
audience believe he was creating the movement on the spot. Speaking of Kathryn Kendall, who put her talents into overdrive as the show’s choreographer as well as portraying Miss Cratchitt and the ever so subtle Mazeppa, showcased herself as a true seasoned professional who has the entire package! Watch out for Bethe B. Austin who knocks the Tessie Tura character out of the ball park with a grand slam performance.

This production is a “must see”. And if you have never been to visit the Bristol Riverside Theatre, you must visit to take in its charm as a delightful performance space. The friendliness of the box office staff, the ushers and everyone involved in the evening truly made you feel appreciated for coming out to support their efforts.

Upcoming productions included in their 25th Anniversary season include a new play, A Raw Space by Jon Marans, the laughter through tears masterpiece Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, and finishing out the season Jonathan Larson’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Rent.

Gypsy is presented by Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St., Bristol, PA now through Jan. 15th. Tickets: $40-$65. Information: 215-785-0100 or www.brtstage.org<?a>.

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