By Michael P Coleman
Toward the end of the first act of Gypsy, which opened last night at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, the impressive Cory Lingner’s microphone shorted out. Undeterred, Lingner powered through during his performance of “All I Need Is The Girl.” Mama Rose would have been proud.
That is, if she hadn’t been so wrapped up in living out her dreams through her daughters.
That’s as much of a spoiler as I’m going to give you about Gypsy. Surprisingly, the guy sitting next to me knew very little about the production when the lights dimmed. An hour or so later, as we exited for intermission, he was ebullient, as he thought the act’s closer, the iconic “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” was the show’s pinnacle.
As Mama Rose might have said, and as good as that number was, he hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!
I’ve mentioned “Mama Rose” twice, so you might surmise that I’m kinda in love with her. Well, at the very least, I’m kinda in love with the actress who plays her in this production, Broadway veteran and multi-Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello. I, too thought Carmello might have had trouble topping Act 1’s closer, but when it is finally Rose’s turn to shine, during the show’s final number, Carmello doesn’t disappoint. At times, her voice was akin to a battering ram, leaving her impressive orchestra and costars in her wake.
And that was no easy task. Other highlights included Austen Danielle Bohmer, who is making her Broadway at Music Circus debut as Louise, a role she has played in two previous productions. That experience in the role shows; Bohmer both breaks and wins hearts as Louise tentatively steps out of the shadows and onto center stage. Broadway’s David Hess also shines as Herbie, in his return to Broadway At Music Circus.
But make no mistake: this Gypsy is Carmello’s show. After learning that she’s a Tony Award nominee, I’m dying to know who brought those Tonys home instead of her. Allow me once again to speak for Mama Rose: The Tonys were fixed! Carmello was robbed!
Tickets for Gypsy start at $45 and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at tickets.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento. For more information, visit BroadwaySacramento.com.