Our well-received production of Gyspy is now over.
Gypsy was written in 1959. It has a score by Jule Styne who, amongst other things, wrote the music for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Funny Girl and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, who of course went on to write such shows as Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods and A Little Night Music. The libretto was penned by Arthur Laurents, who went on to direct the Broadway revivals in 1974 and 2008.
The show is based on the true story of Louise Hovick, her sister June and their mother Rose. It follows the family from humble beginnings performing on the American Vaudeville circuit and culminates with Louise’s star turn as internationally renowned stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Whilst the musical is called Gypsy the star of the show is definitely the mother, Rose. This is a part which has been referred to as “the King Lear of Musical Theatre” as it demands so much from a performer not just vocally but also emotionally; some of the biggest names on Broadway and in the West End have tackled the part of Mamma.
The original star was Ethel Merman and, being the diva that she was, when told that Stephen Sondheim would be writing the lyrics and the score she said that she would only do the show if the score was written by her friend Jule Styne. The producers wanted, and needed Merman, so Sondheim was told that he would just be writing the lyrics and the rest is history. Other major productions have starred Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly (from Cagney and Lacey) and most recently Imelda Staunton whilst there has been film versions starring Rosalind Russell and Bette Midler.
Age advice – 12+
Musical Director: Carl Greenwood
Production Assistant: Louise Hackett
Music by JULE STYNE
Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by ARTHUR LAURENTS
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with MusicScope and Stage Musicals Ltd of New York