Pierrot Productions will entertain audiences with the classic musical fable about the road to stardom with "Gypsy," coming to Mercer County Community College's Kelsey Theatre. Dates and times are Fridays, March 15 and 22 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, March 16 and 23 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, March 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on March 15.
"Gypsy" is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of the famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother." With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne, the show follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.
Considered one of the crowning achievements of the mid-20th century's conventional musical theater, the show includes popular standards such as "Everything's Coming up Roses," "Let Me Entertain You," and "Rose's Turn."
Theater critic Clive Barnes wrote that "'Gypsy' is one of the best of musicals," and described the character of Rose as "one of the few truly complex characters in the American musical."
The show first opened on Broadway in 1959, and has since been performed all over the world, with Broadway revivals in 1974, 1989, 2003 and 2008. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and the revivals received several Drama Desk Awards, with notable performances by Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone.
Cast members include Pam Jorgensen of Franklin Park as Rose; Jenna Scannelli of Manalapan as Louise; Tom Chiola of Trenton as Herbie; Samuel Spare of Howell Township as Tulsa; Aziza Seven of Lawrence Township as Tessie; Grace Matwijec of Newtown, PA, as Baby June; Caitlin Sprang of Lawrence Township as June; Lisa Diaz of Southampton as Baby Louise; Danielle Grosso of Hamilton as Mazeppa; and D. Nixon of Ewing as Electra.
Ensemble cast members include Amy Bessellieu of Lawrence Township, Tom Bessellieu of Lawrence Township, WilLiam Burke of Lawrence Township, Wesley Cappiello of Hamilton, Sabrina Chevlin of Princeton Junction, Meghan Deeley of Sicklerville, Emily Elliott of Lawrence Township; KaiLee Graham of Lawrence Township; Marisa Lazar of Maple Shade, Julia Patella of Cranbury, Thomas Petrino of Hamilton, Christina Pullen of New Egypt, Alexys Pulsinelli of Bordentown, Mari Skoultchi of Skillman and Morgan Wambach of Maple Shade.
The show is being directed by Pete LaBriola of Pennington, with musical direction by Pam Sharples of East Windsor, choreography by Kat Kline of Ewing, and stage management by Ginny McGowen of Philadelphia, PA.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. For tickets, call the Kelsey Theatre Box Office at 609-570-3333, or visit www.kelseytheatre.net. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.