Much of the humor in Gypsy comes from vaudeville and burlesque acts being cheesy. The laughs usually are stronger than any whiff of Limburger, though, and sometimes we're even thankful for a slice. For example, a stripper named Mazeppa is playing a trumpet and wearing a Roman centurion uniform, and Elizabeth Dennis makes the charge sound pretty good. Gypsy Rose Lee/Louise's gimmick is to act classy, letting the drooling guys clamor for more but giving them just a strap off the shoulder or taking off just a long white glove. In the end, Gypsy's brains prove more useful than her mother's brass.

By the way, it's a pleasure to view a performance from Angell Blackfriars Theatre seats, which have such a generous rake that the person in front of you could be wearing a big flowered hat and you wouldn't care. More significant kudos goes to musical director David Harper, whose orchestra beneath the stage vitalizes the show as recorded music never can.

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Related: Review: PC updates Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Trinity's rollicking Absurd Person Singular, Gamm's Mauritius gets a stamp of semi-approval, More more >
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