By Lonnie Huhman,
The Dexter Community Players summer production, “Gypsy,” is a timeless story with music and lyrics that make this a must-see for supporters of great, local theater.
With performances at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 and July 13, at 2 p.m. on the 14th, and 7:30 p.m. on the 19th and 20th, the DCP is once again bringing an entertaining show to the Copeland Auditorium, 7714 Ann Arbor Street in Dexter.
The DCP says “Gypsy” is regarded by many theater professionals, “as the greatest musical ever created.”
It’s described as the, “ultimate tale of an ambitious stage mother fighting for her daughters’ success… while secretly yearning for her own. Set all across America in the 1920’s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born, Arthur Laurents’ landmark show explores the world of two-bit show business with brass, humor, heart, and sophistication. The celebrated score by Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim boasts one glorious hit after another, including: “Let Me Entertain You,” “Some People,” “You’ll Never Get Away from Me.”
The production at the Copeland is directed by Connor Rhoades with assistant director Keshia Oliver and musical direction by Brian Rose and choreography by Matilda Seagraves.
Rhoades said “Gypsy” is as an exploration of the lengths that one person is willing to go to achieve fame and notoriety.
“The show follows Madame Rose, mother of famed burlesque performer, Gypsy Rose Lee,” Rhoades said. “Rose has been described as the ‘ultimate stage mother,’ a title that she certainly lives up to throughout the events of the show.”
Rhoades said he’s been eager to direct “Gypsy,” ever since, “I first saw a stellar production at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2014.”
“The story is so captivating and the characters are so rich,” he said. “I’ve always had such an affinity for the work of Stephen Sondheim. His lyrics combined with Jule Styne’s music and Arthur Laurents’ libretto makes this show such an honor to work on.”
After watching a rehearsal, it’s safe to say the DCP cast is a hardworking one as they prepared for this big show.
The cast includes Carrie Jay Sayer as “Rose,” Bronsyn Lee Saker as “Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee,” with “Herbie” being played by Karl Schmidtg and “Dainty June” by Maryanna Lauter.
Rhoades said the cast has been working tirelessly throughout the entire rehearsal process.
“Several roles in this show are among the most challenging to play in all of musical theatre, but each member of the cast rose to the occasion!” he said.
As for pitching the show to the community, Rhoades said, “in an era where modern musical blockbusters like ‘Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen’ are so prevalent in the public’s consciousness, my greatest desire is for the community to come see a true watershed of musical theatre that was integral in shaping all other works that followed it. With its themes of family, hardship, desire, and resilience, ‘Gypsy’ is truly a masterpiece that still holds such relevance today.”
Tickets can be ordered ahead of time at http://dextercommunityplayers.org or at Busch’s in Dexter, and more information can be found by calling 734-726-0355 or emailing email@example.com.