GYPSY - Wow!!!! Broadway
actress CINDY BENSON, who plays Mama Rose, earned every dollar director
Morrissey paid her to come to Texas. BENSON is a powerful entertainer.
She acts, sings and dances with a level of energy that dominates the stage
and engages the audience. She was entirely believable as the overbearing,
relentless and indefatigable stage mother who is determined to make stars
of her two daughters
a superb performance!
In the role of "Rose" CINDY BENSON is in one word, magnificent. This talented lady played the evil "Mme. Thenardier" in LES MISERABLES on Broadway. As the stage mother of them all, BENSON has wisely decided to pull back and then progress into the emotional wreck that she becomes in the second act. So many of the previous actresses whom I have seen play "Rose" tend to focus primarily on the music and not the book. Thus their performances feel as through they are rushing through the emotional book only to get to the next song. BENSON does not have a hint of this at all. Instead she devours the book, giving the scenes dark, intense emotion. She is wickedly funny in the frothy scenes, but then shows stark, organic truth to the dramatic scenes.
For the second act
reprise of "Small World", her voice cracks and breaks from the
emotional devastation of losing her husband to be. Her eyes well up in
tears as she struggles with the ballad. It is performances like this that
make these warhorse musicals still shine. Then she brings it home with
one of the most famous 11:00 o'clock numbers, "Rose's Turn".
BENSON may be a tiny lady, but the girl's got some power lungs! She belts
to the back wall on that final note within this aria. She devours the
lyrics as if it were a monologue from MEDEA. It is a haunting musical
number that is breathtaking to watch and hear. BENSON delivers one of
the best performances by an actress in a musical this season!
2003 Cindy Benson, All rights reserved. |
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