I took the IRT uptown to 49th Street and walked down to the TKTS booth. They were offering very little and what they offered I wasn't interested in and there was a long line. I had brought along discount coupons I had gotten off the internet but which I knew were NOT valid at the box office. But I tried anyway and went to the Shubert went to Gypsy box office, found out I couldn't use the coupon ---- but they would sell me the same seat at the same price as a different discount. So at 7:52 I got a ticket for the 8:00 performance for $26 -- but in the last row of the last balcony.
There were good sightlines from the seat [and in fact, because there was no overhang, the seats in the second balcony were actually better than those in the first balcony which is called the "mezzanine"].
The play was, unfortunately, miked but that did make the sound audible; the only drawback [for me or anyone without 20-20 vision] was the fuzzy expressions on the actors' faces. The house was sold out; I'd guess mostly tourists and out-of-towners; next to me were noisy Slavic tourists/immigrants who got quiet after the overture.
As background: I believe that Gypsy is one of the top five musicals ever written; from working at the Opera, I saw it performed at least 20 times in the production with Angela Lansbury which was said to be as good, although in a different way, as the original with Ethel Merman. So I had a lot of expectations this productions had to meet.
The production was very good and slick and worthy of the show. After a really bad start when the brass went flat on the opening notes of the famous overture, the orchestra did well. There are two numbers that always stick out for me: All I Need Now Is the Girl which was done really well [and I found out in the program that the actor/dancer had gotten a Tony for it .......... and of course everyone in the audience knows that Tulsa is NOT going to have a successful theatrical career] and You Gotta Have A Gimmick, which was also done well but in which only Miss Mazeppa really shone.
Sparse. The show is set 80% in theaters or at the edge of theaters but that isn't, in my opinion, good enough justification for what this production did to the staging. Sparse is the nice word for it. There are drops and props but no real scenery; almost every scene looks like it's on a bare stage with props that the actors and crew carry on and off. Maybe this was supposed to make a point of theatricality but it struck me not as as cheap and as preparation for a road tour, not as well-thought out sparse. They did keep the original effect for the children growing up and did it well.
Gypsy Rose Lee/Louise was being played by the understudy. She appears in boys clothing through most of the show until the last 15 or 20 minutes. Physically the actress is beautiful and curvaceous and could handle the role of a classy stripper well. But she didn't do as well in acting. There's a segment where Gypsy has her first striptease as a shy, embarrassed teenager and that then segues through three or four different burlesque houses in different cities where she gradually gains more and more confidence. But this actress went from shy to complete in one city and there was no development.
Bernadette Peters has her name above that of the show and in print almost as large as the title; so she is announcing that she's something special. I found her good [just as good as probably 20 other actresses could be in the role] but also unconvincing. She did everything technically correctly but I never believed her. At times she seemed very distant as if she were telephoning in her part, and this was a Friday night show.
As I said, I'm very picky about this show and so if you have a chance to see it, do so.
The show ended at 11 and since I had had a 4½ hour drive up and a full day of socializing I decided to go straight back to the hotel. I was there before 11:30 but since I wanted to plan the next morning out, I didn't get to sleep until about 12:30.