09/12/2002 - 11/02/2002
Playwright: Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents, and Stephen Sondheim
Director: Emma Griffin
About the play
Just how far will a mother go to make her little girl a star? The last, desperate gasps of vaudeville provide the backdrop for Gypsy, a timeless story of ambition and family. Featuring classic songs like "Let Me Entertain You" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses," Gypsy is a vivid retelling of the emergence of the little girl who would become the notorious Gypsy Rose Lee--with a little help from mom. The Express production of this landmark of musical theatre features cabaret sensation Libby Whittemore and a posse--say, 22--of Atlanta's finest performers.
Cast & Creative - Gypsy
Thu-Sat Sept 19-Nov 2, 8pm
Sun Sept 29 and Oct 6, 20, 27, 5pm
Sun Sept 22 and Oct 13, 2pm
About the Collaborators
Jule Styne (Composer) made Broadway sing for 50 years as composer of High Button Shoes; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Peter Pan; Bells Are Ringing; Do Re Mi; Funny Girl; Red Shoes; Darling of the Day; Lorelei; and Sugar. His songbook includes the standards "Just in Time," "People," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "Small World" and "Time After Time." He is a member of the Songwriter's and Theatre Halls of Fame; a 1990 Kennedy Center Honoree; and the winner of two Grammys, an Oscar, an Emmy, and the Drama Critics Award as a producer.
Stephen Sondheim (Composer/Lyricist) wrote the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park With George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), and many others, as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959). Mr. Sondheim served as President of the Dramatists Guild, the national association of playwrights, composers and lyricists, from 1973-1981.
Arthur Laurents (Librettist) has written the books for the musicals West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959). He also directed two revivals of Gypsy (1974 and 1989), and La Cage aux Folles (1984, Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical). He has been honored by the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Writers Guild of America, Golden Globe, Drama Desk, and National Board of Review. He is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, P.E.N., the Screenwriter's Guild, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Gypsy opened at the Broadway Theatre on May 21, 1959 and closed on March 25, 1961 after 702 performances. It was made into a motion picture starring Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell in 1963 and a TV movie starring Bette Midler in 1993. A Broadway revival was staged in 1974 with Angela Lansbury and again in 1989 with Tyne Daley.
About the Story
Suggested by the memoirs of the notorious stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy tells the story of Rose, an overbearing stage mother who is determined to break into the big time by pushing the vaudeville career of her younger daughter June. However, unwilling to tolerate her mother's manipulations, June elopes with a dancer. Rose then turns all of her attention to her older and less talented daughter Louise. Rose's dreams come to fruition when Louise's career takes off on the burlesque circuit—as a stripper. Confronting the reality that she is no longer needed in her daughter's life, the play concludes with Rose and Louise coming to an understanding about the true legacy of a mother's desire to live out her own dreams through her children.
From Actor's Express artistic director Wier Harman
Theatre people are obsessed with stories about theatre people. We know deep down that the very pathologies that fuel our commitment to this work-low pay and crazy hours and the constant emotional roller coaster of approval and validation inherent in a performer's life-well, that stuff makes for great theatre. And there's no more vivid rendering of a performer's drive than this beautiful story of a mother who lives through her daughters.
Our creative team's outstanding-the amazing Libby Whittemore, Obie-winning director Emma Griffin, pageant designer Jay Reynolds on clothes, not to mention a cast of 21 humans AND a little dog called Rambo - Gypsy is easily the largest project the theatre has undertaken in my three seasons here. With its relevance to the season's core themes-lost innocence, and the liberating, redemptive power of performance-and the sheer resources it demands to bring it to life, it's no exaggeration to say we've built our year around it. Plus, it's really fun to open a season with Gypsy, the definitive American musical, and close it with Hedwig, her crazy, trouble-making progeny.
Karen Huckabee, Conductor
Keyboard, BJ Brown
Trumpet, James Cage
Reed Doubler, Dustin Cicero
Drums, Jeremy Cudd
Trombone, Eric Dotson
Piano, Karen Huckabee