A newly formed East Kootenay live theatre company is presenting as its inaugural production one of the most beloved musicals of the 20th century next month.
“Gypsy” is a 1959 musical, loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose — “the ultimate show business mother.” It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and looks affectionately at the hardships of show business life. The music is by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents. It contains many songs that became popular standards.
Eilzabeth Adler, co-Artistic Director of Turner & Adler Productions, which is bringing Gypsy to the Cranbrook stage, said when they were deciding which show they should present as their inaugural production, they knew that above all, they wanted an entertaining musical that showed audiences a wide range of ages and showcased the amazing talent that our area has to offer.
“‘Gypsy’ was the perfect choice for many reasons – being about show business, theatre life and having some of the most well-known music and characters of all time,” Adler said.
The piece has often been referred to as the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers.
“‘Gypsy’ hails from the Golden Era of musical theatre,” Adler said, “and holds within it a timeless story not only of what it means to work in a theatre, but the intricate relationships between a mother, her daughters and their dreams.
“Being that it is based on the true-life story of how Gypsy Rose Lee got her start on the stage, it’s realism appeals to a wide range of people. The music is fun, powerful and helps tell the emotional story behind these real characters. And although funny and entertaining, this is an incredibly moving story of a single mother’s struggle to provide for her children and give them the skills to be independent in an ever-changing world.”
“Gypsy” opens Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, at the Key City Theatre. It is directed by Tylene Turner, co-Artistic Director of Turner & Adler Productions, and features Adler herself as Mama Rose, Emily Bohmer as Louise, Clara MacLeod as June, Jerrod Bondy as Herbie, Eve MacBride as Baby June and Chloe Dickerson as Baby Louise.
“This show has a myriad of actors, both experienced and new to the stage,” Adler said. “Audiences will recognize their friends, neighbors, local “celebrities” and local business owners!
Adler said that casting the play was a joy. “There are so many talented folk of all ages in Kimberley and Cranbrook. We have the privilege of working with a lot of the recognizable actors in the area who bring with them their extensive theatre skills. But what is really exciting is that this production attracted so many new people who have little or no experience on the stage!
“Rehearsals have been incredibly rewarding – the director, Tylene Turner has made it both a fun and positive learning environment. The cast is bringing these characters to life in a way that will prove to be extremely entertaining and interesting for audiences to watch.”
“Gypsy” is on stage at the Key City Theatre on February 12, 13 & 14, 2015 – show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are on sale at Key City Theatre, or online at www.keycitytheatre.com, or online through Snapd East Kootenay at https://eastkootenay.snapd.com. For more information, please call 250-426-7006.