stage preview HART Presents The Broadway Musical Smash
ourteen sets, more than a hundred costumes, a full orchestra, and a cast of thirty help make Gypsy one of Haywood Arts Regional Theatreâ€™s biggest productions ever. There are about a dozen Broadway musicals that critics will regularly label â€œthe best.â€? Gypsy, based on the life of legendary Burlesque Queen Gypsy Rose Lee, is one of those. Gypsy opened in 1959 and was the second collaboration between Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, and Arthur Laurents. Just two years before, along with Leonard Bernstein, they created West Side Story. This time the composer would be Julie Styne, who had just created the hit Bells Are Ringing. The team, using Leeâ€™s memoir as a guide, focused on the mother figure as the center of their story. Momma Rose was a loving mother, protective as a lioness, and absolutely driven to make her daughter a star. For a time she succeeded, and â€œBaby June and her newsboysâ€? played the famed Orpheum Circuit in the glory days of vaudeville for a number of years. But vaudeville began dying with the competition from sound movies just as Baby June began to grow up. Most people would see the writing on the wall and settle down, get a regular job and live a normal life. Momma Rose dug in her heals and pushed her daughters forward. For years they struggled on, sinking lower into poverty with each season. June finally bolted and in reality became the successful Hollywood actress June Havoc. Rose Louise, the untalented one, was left behind, and Mommaâ€™s determination finally pushed the shy young girl into the world of Burlesque. Louise had always loved to read, and her humor and self taught intelligence, coupled with a statuesque figure and ladylike style, lifted her above her seedy surroundings and made her more than a star â€“ she became a legend. From the beginning, Ethel Merman was to star as Momma Rose. Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, who had each created hits for the star, turned the project down. But Julie Styne had played pit piano in a Burlesque house when he was thirteen, giving him just the right background to create a great score. When it opened, Gypsy was overshadowed by The Sound of Music, and the biggest hit of the season, Fiorello, which tied for the Tony Award for best musical. Gypsy ran a little over 700 performances. It doesnâ€™t even rank in the top 100 longest running Broadway shows. But in the end Gypsy, like
her namesake, became a legend. In the decades that have followed, the show has been revived more than any other Broadway musical. Angela Landsbury was a smash in the 1970â€™s, then Tyne Daly in the 80â€™s, Bette Midler on TV in the 90â€™s, Bernadette Peters ten years ago, and last year Patti Lupone rocked the great white way. All of the Momma Roses have been unique masterful interpretations of what may be the best role ever written for a mature actress. For our production we have Lyn Donley as Momma Rose and Laura Gregory as the famed Gypsy. Gypsy is based on the book by Arthur Laurents, directed by Steve Lloyd, with music by Julie Styne, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Music Director Chuck Taft. Sponsored by Med West. The cast includes Raymond Yarnutoski, Sarah Conklin, Ellery Neal, Sean Conklin, Amy Hunt, Madison Garris, John Winfield, Charles Marth , Roger Magendie, Alexia Grant, Jonathan Milner, Drew Koon, Sean Bruce, Jacob Hunt, Chris Martin, Susan Rudniak, Alice Harbeson, Amanda Zurena, Amaris Catton John Catton, Nat Neal, Tierney Cody, Jennifer Fincher, Tabatha Judy, Andrea Cody, Chris Martin, and Zak Shankun. HARTâ€™s summer musicals are a special treat, and this is a huge production. Audiences are encouraged to make reservations. If You HART presents GYPSY a Musical Go Fable. Performances July 8, 9, 14,
15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 29, 30 at 7:30 p.m. Sundays, July 10, 17 and 21 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $22 for adults; $20 for seniors; student/child $10. Special $5 discount tickets for students for Thursday and Sunday performances. Box office hours: MondaySaturday 1-5 p.m. Call (828) 456-6322 for reservations. Tickets available at www. harttheatre.com. HART, Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House, 250 Pigeon St. Waynesville, NC 28786.
www.jewelsthatdance.com (AYWOOD 3T s !SHEVILLE .# s s (OURS -ON 3AT Vol. 14, No. 11 â€” Rapid River ArtS & CULTURE Magazine â€” July 2011
Published on May 14, 2012