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‘Gypsy’ returns to Broadway

LuPone reprises Rose in musical

“Gypsy” gets another Broadway encore this spring, when the past summer’s Encores! production of the 1959 tuner gets its long-rumored Rialto transfer in March.

Patti LuPone reprises her role as suffocating showbiz mama Rose, with Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti also returning to parts they played in the summer staging, the former as Rose’s suitor Herbie, the latter as daughter Louise.

Arthur Laurents, the show’s book writer, will again direct. Laurents has previously helmed two of the past three revivals of “Gypsy” on Broadway — a 1974 production toplined by Angela Lansbury and a 1989 incarnation starring Tyne Daly.

Laurents’ latest “Gypsy” was originally presented this summer as the first programming expansion of Encores!, the annual spring series of concert readings that yielded the long-running revival of “Chicago.” A more fully staged production than prior Encores! offerings, “Gypsy” won mainly rave reviews and became a hot ticket among legiters over its limited three-week run in July.

A major selling point for the production is the appeal of seeing well-known Rialto diva LuPone (“Sweeney Todd,” “Evita”) tackle a legendary part created by Ethel Merman, but whether that attraction can sustain an open-ended Broadway run remains to be seen. “Gypsy” last appeared on Broadway just five years ago, in a 2003 staging helmed by Sam Mendes and toplined by Bernadette Peters.

With music by composer Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Gypsy,” based loosely on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, was originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins.

Roger Berlind, the Baruch Frankel Viertel Routh Group, Roy Furman, Debra Black, Ted Hartley, Roger Horchow, David Ian, Scott Rudin and Jack Viertel are producing the Broadway run. Creative team includes James Youmans (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes) and Howell Binkley (lights).

“Gypsy” begins perfs March 3 for a March 27 opening at the St. James Theater. Venue is currently home to “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” set to end its holiday run Jan. 6.

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