Photo: First Look at Leslie Uggams as Mama Rose in GYPSY!
We've been waiting for this! Check out the first photo of Tony Award winner Leslie Uggams as Rose, in GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE at Connecticut Repertory Theatre onstage July 10-20 at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre. Tickets and information at 860-486-2113. Photo by Tim Brown.
Back in April 2014, Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal announced that Tony and Emmy Award- winning actress Leslie Uggams would be starring as Rose in Connecticut Repertory Theatre's (CRT) production of GYPSY: A Musical Fable July 10-20. This announcement quickly spread through social media circles and the theatre community and set off a firestorm of discussion on message boards and Twitter about casting an African American actress in this iconic role. "We weren't necessarily looking for an actress of color but rather an incredible talent to play this incredibly challenging role," Cardinal said. "The actor needed to be able to sing and act brilliantly - this is the King Lear of musical theatre. When we found Leslie Uggams, we were thrilled and honored to have such a legendary talent in this legendary role."
The cast includes Michael James Leslie of Broadway's The Wiz and Little Shop of Horrors, as Pop, Scott Ripley as Herbie, Alanna Saunders (Dianna in CRT's recent A Chorus Line) as June, Amandina Altomare (Judy in A Chorus Line, Philia in Funny thing...Forum) as Louise, Luke Hamilton as Tulsa, and features Ariana Shore as Tessie Tura, Dale AJ Rose as Mr. Goldstone/Cigar and Steve Hayes as Uncle Jocko/Kringelien. Additional cast members include Brandon Beaver, Johnny Brantly III, Thomas Brazzle, Madison Coppola, Kristin Devine, Conor Donnally, Cassandra Dupler, Julia Estrada, Mackenzie Leigh Freidmann, Khetanya Henderson, James Jelkin, Sean Jones, Rebecca Mack, Coles Prince, Maria Sheehan, Kyle Schoeplein, Courtney Schoeplein, Annie Tolis, Gianna Yanelli and Madison Young. The production is directed by CRT's Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal, with scenic design by Tim Brown, costume design by Lisa Loen, lighting design by Greg Purnell, sound design by Michael Skinner and stage manager Alyssa K. Howard.