Porchlight Music Theatre Presents
Book by Arthur Laurents
Director Michael Weber
October 12 – November 25
Gypsy Showcases the Ultimate Stage Mother
The Marx Brothers, Drew Barrymore, Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields, Dorothy Dandridge, Lindsey Lohan, and Kim Kardashian all had overbearing stage mothers dubbed as “Momagers” to push them to success. However, long before Kris Jenner hit the scene to do whatever it took to make her daughters famous, there was one legendary “Stage Mother” by the name of Rose Hovick, a woman who was a force to be reckoned with and would stop at nothing to make sure she and her daughters were in the spotlight.
If you haven’t heard of “Gypsy,” let us introduce you to this musical fable written by playwright Arthur Laurents. Gypsy was considered by many to be the greatest American musical. It is loosely based and inspired by one of showbiz’s unique personalities, Rose Hovick, and the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist. Gypsy’s mother, Rose, has become known as “the ultimate show business mother.”
Rose is the most profit-making “Stage Mother” of the mid-twentieth century, a star in her own right. The musical includes some standard favorites such as “Let Me Entertain You,” “Some People,” “Together, “Wherever We Go” and the show-stopping, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”
“Gypsy” is set in various cities throughout the United States in the early 1920s to the early 1930s, where the world of big-time, family oriented vaudeville is quickly fading away to the adult-themed burlesque industry.
In this electrifying and heart-wrenching story of a woman who raises her daughters to navigate their dreams of stardom whether they wanted to or not, Mama Rose, a victim of her wander-lust for personal success, becomes the “Momager” from hell where agents and producers refuse to work with her.
“Gypsy” is an old favorite that hit the stage with several talented actors such as the unconquerable entertainer with the extraordinary gift to capture an audience, E. Faye Butler, who leads the cast in “Gypsy” as Mama Rose. Like so many before her playing the character of Mama Rose, she brought her feisty persona to life with a lot of zest.
Daryn Whitney Harrell, who played Louise, Mama Rose’s eldest daughter, was such a pleasant surprise to grace the stage. Louise comes out of the shadows of her younger sister June (Aalon Smith), the one Mama Rose invested so much in; Louise eventually rose to stardom as the sophisticated “Gypsy Rose Lee!”
This well-rounded cast also included Herbie (José Antonio García). His character fell instantly in love with Mama Rose as he waited patiently on her terms to marry her. He tried to add balance to her life as he became the girls’ official manager.
Director Michael Weber showcases this dynamic fast-paced musical as it follows the dreams and hardships of Mama Rose to raise her two daughters to perform on stage and it casts an affectionate eye on the struggles of business life during the vaudeville era.
Let’s Play “Highly Recommends” that you check out this amazing musical “Gypsy” at Porchlight Theatre where “everything’s coming up roses!”
The cast includes:
Faye Butler (Rose)
Daryn Whitney Harrell (Louise)
Aalon Smith (June)
José Antonio García (Herbie)
Honey West (Agnes, Electra/Miss Cratchitt)
Dawn Bless (Mazeppa)
Melissa Young (Tessie Tura)
Marco Tzunux (Tulsa)
Saniyah As-Salaam( Newsboy)
Larry Baldacci (Uncle Jocko / Mr. Weber / Mr. Goldstone / Pastey)
Tatiana Bustamante (Marjorie May)
Joshua Bishop (Bougeron-Cochon)
Elya Faye Bottiger (Agnes, showgirls)
William “Pierce” Cleaveland (Clarence)
Jared David Michael Grant (Georgie / Mr. Kringelein / Phil)
Michelle Huey (Dolores)
Jillian-Giselle (Baby Louise)
Hannah Love Jones (Balloon Girl)
- Michael Jones (Pop / Cigar)
Marvin J. Malone II (Yonkers)
Desmond Murphy (Arnold)
Renellè Nicole (Gail/Renee)
Jeff Pierpoint (L.A.)
Ariel Triunfo (Edna Mae)
Isabella Warren (Baby June)