Though Gypsy relies heavily on the prowess of the actress playing Rose, I am of the opinion that the show itself is held together by the actress playing Louise. The story follows her transformation, after all, from shy duckling to confident queen of burlesque. To me, Laura Benanti was the heart of the 2008 Gypsy revival. She was a sweet, wounded bird, and at the end, when she finally came into her own, it was magical and terrifying. I would be surprised if I breathed once during “The Strip,” and she caused my heart to pound in my chest when Louise finally stood up to her mother. Benanti gave one of the most powerful transformations I have seen onstage. She was unforgettable.