arrow_downarrow_leftarrow_rightarrow_upbookmarkArtboard 6bubbleicon_arrow_lefticon_birdicon_calicon_facebookicon_mailicon_searchicon_twittericon_websiteicon-emailicon-facebookicon-ldicon-twitterArtboard 6review_countsigthumbs_downthumbs_uptop_allArtboard 6top_yearw-negw-nonew-nutw-pos

Gypsy at the Shaw Festival – All the Reviews

By Keith Tomasek, May 28, 2023

In 2005 I had the good fortune to see the Shaw Festival’s production of “Gypsy,” directed by Jackie Maxwell and starring Nora McLellan. It was a wonderful production and I interviewed McLellan, who is at the Blythe Festival this season, on my podcast below.

So I was a bit trepidatious when the current production of “Gypsy” at the Shaw Festival opened.

Kate Hennig. Photo Peter Andrew Lusztyk

It turns out I had nothing to be concerned about – the show is a HiT!

I’ve collected all the reviews for you and will ad more as they are published.

The Globe and Mail

J. Kelly Nestruck

“The destination theatre company in the garden city of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., finally has a musical on its main stage that really rivals the highest quality productions seen a couple of hours away at the Stratford Festival…

But the key here is the aching acting – not just from Hennig, but Cadieux, who finds lots of complexity to play in the “good guy” Herbie, and Lumsden, who is a lonely and longing Louise and then convincingly blossoms through burlesque. No gimmicks needed for Gypsy when you’ve got three great turns like theirs.”

Link to the review:

The Toronto Star

Karen Fricker

“Hennig’s take on Momma Rose is as nuanced, powerfully sung and grotesquely compelling as hoped, all leading to a commanding performance of the 11-o’clock number “Rose’s Turn.”

From a musical standpoint the production is resplendent. The score has great numbers to spare, including “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Together (Wherever We Go)”, with music by Jule Styne, book by Arthur Laurents and exquisite lyrics by the then still-emergent Stephen Sondheim. The orchestra is in full force under Paul Sportelli’s baton, and it feels positively luxurious to bask in the show’s music from its celebrated and lengthy overture through Hennig tearing down the house in “Rose’s Turn.”

Link to the review:

Ontario Stage

Kelly Monaghan

“The Shaw Festival has seemingly always played second fiddle to the Stratford Festival when it comes to musicals. No longer. Their current production of “Gypsy,” the legendary 1959 Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne musical with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, is an unalloyed triumph….

Shaw may not have a Broadway-ready dance corps but it has given this “Gypsy” a fifteen piece orchestra, more musicians than grace some Broadway musicals. It helps you appreciate why the overture is so highly regarded by musical comedy aficionados. Paul Sportelli is the conductor and John Lott is credited for sound design.

There are many virtues in “Gypsy” at the Shaw Festival, but Kate Hennig’s performance towers above them all. Singer, actor, playwright, director, there is seemingly nothing this woman cannot do and do well. I wouldn’t bet against her in a snooker tournament.:

Link to the review:

Intermission Magazine

Liam Donovan

“The production moves with a surprisingly contemporary fluidity. The back wall of Cory Sincennes’s malleable set features a stage door, contributing to Turvey’s meta-theatrical framing…

Hennig’s sublime silences, the supernaturality, Sincennes’s airy set, Fraser’s glowing haze, the orchestra’s reverberations: these are subtextual intangibles, atmospheric, gradually blossoming carriers of Rose’s woe. This Gypsy is not vicious and explosive but quietly mournful.”

Link to the review:

Entertain This Thought

Mary Alderson

“Kate Hennig owns that stage and rightly so – she is Rose, the ultimate stage mother. She makes the role her own…

I’ve seen many productions of Gypsy, including the wonderful Bernadette Peters on Broadway and Canadian star Louise Pitre in Chicago. Hennig’s Rose is right there with them.”

Link to the review:

The Slotkin Letter

“In the backstage world of grunge, yelling, dust, and guarding one’s space, the appearance of Herbie, the accommodating candy salesman, is a breath of fresh air. Jason Cadieux plays Herbie with grace, courtliness and sweetness. Herbie is a mensch, a decent man who just wants to love Rose and her daughters and live a normal life. Rose does not want that life enough.”

Link to the Review:

Welland Tribune

John Law

This review is behind a paywall.

Link to the review:

More reviews will be added as they are published.

In the meantime please leave a Facebook comment below.

Nora McLellan on The Performers Podcast


Subscribe and twice a month you’ll get exclusive access to content, ticket deals & giveaways.

I am a Theater :

Traditional arts journalism is in decline. Now more than ever, this independent website and our podcast fill a growing void. We've had over 1.5 million page views, and are grateful that you are here. We rely on readers — and a handful of advertisers who share our values — to make our work possible. When we raised funds for our podcast, The "Performers Podcast," the average donation from people like you was $96. Now we hope you’ll join us in augmenting our coverage of arts in the region by making a one-time donation today.

Founder Stratford Festival Reviews
Donate Now

Gypsy at the Shaw Festival – All the Reviews

Keith Tomasek
28 May 2023
News and Rumors

What did you think?

Share This Post:

Share This Tweet This Email This