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Gypsy Portrait Unveiling Party
Tony Di Napoli's Restaurant
January 8, 2009


Written by John Janusz
Portrait Created by Dan May
Photo Credit: Maryann Lopinto

In a month when Broadway has seen thirteen of its shows close, theater fans find themselves hard-pressed to find reasons to celebrate. Many of these shows had very long and successful runs: Grease, Hairspray, Spamalot, Spring Awakening, Young Frankenstein and Boeing Boeing. Among these great shows there was one that truly stands out as the classic of 2008: Gypsy.

Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti

On January 8th the Theater District restaurant favorite Tony’s di Napoli inducted its first portrait unveiling of 2009 to honor the show Gypsy and its three stars: Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti.

The event was hosted by Bruce Dimpflmaier and emceed by Valerie Smaldone. Normally they host their Broadway dedication ceremonies in the private party room at Tony’s di Napoli for an invite list that numbers somewhere between 50-100 people. But for the cast of Gypsy, the restaurant reserved the entire space to make room for all of the friends and colleagues who wanted to attend and toast Gypsy and Gypsy’s stars.

Alilson Freaser (Tesse Taura) and Marilyn Caskey (Electra)

Gypsy opened in March of ’08 at the St. James Theatre to rave reviews. The revivial of Gypsy was a first class production in every sense. Leading lady Patti LuPone took home the Tony for best actress for her performance as Rose. Flanking her were Boyd Gaines and Laura Benanti who also both won Tonys for their roles. Benanti portrayed Louise (later known in the show as the title character Gypsy Rose Lee); Bananti has now catapulted herself to the A-list of Broadway stars. Gaines won his Tony for his strong performance as Mamma Rose’s long-suffering boyfriend, Herbie. The major award Gypsy didn’t win was that for best musical revival which it to Rogers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Though, it would be much more fitting to say that Gypsy didn’t lose the award, South Pacific simply out-won it. 2008 was a memorable year on the Great White Way and 2009 has a tough act to follow.



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