I first saw Gypsy the night I got my PhD back in 1973! It starred Angela Lansbury and I was bowled over. The music by Jules Styne and the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim made me life long fans of both. I have seen it quite a few times since, and most notably with Bernadette Peters about a decade ago in New York. These have all been great versions. But each generation needs its own new Gypsy and for this generation we get the amazing Imelda Staunton. She is a superb actress with a strong voice and she is simply superb. My hunch is that she will walk away with awards. Michael Billington in the Guardian review even went so far as to say this is one of the best musical performances he has ever seen ( and he has seen a lot).
Actually it is even more than that. It is perfectly, tightly staged and has great supporting cast. Gypsy Rose Lee in particular – played by Lara Pulver – is a marvel as she metamorphosises from from plain Jane to gorgeous stripper. From the opening bars of the overture at London’s small elegant Savoy Theatre, you just know you are in for a treat……..