Cumberland County Playhouse Presents GYPSY, 7/18-9/5

Cumberland County Playhouse Presents GYPSY, 7/18-9/5

Beginning July 18, everything's coming up roses as the Playhouse brings one of the greatest American musicals of all time to life...Gypsy! From the unforgettable first notes of its legendary overture to the final white hot spotlight, Gypsy is considered by many to be "the best musical ever," as it tells the story of the archetypal stage mother, Rose and her daughters June and Louise. Set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, Gypsy portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and casts an affectionate eye on show business as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying... and burlesque was born. Bold, brassy, yet remarkably charming, Rose puts today's Dance Moms to shame as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters into child stars. When the younger, more talented daughter defects, Rose sinks all her hopes (and claws) into the elder.

Directed by Britt Hancock (Man of La Mancha, Suite Surrender) and choreographed by Leila Nelson (Chicago, 9 to 5) the new Playhouse production will feature some of the company's most powerful performers. Starring as Rose is the dynamic Weslie Webster. DeAnna Etchison is Louise (Gypsy Rose Lee) and newcomer Elizabeth Wyld is June (Lee's sister, actress June Havoc). The supporting cast features Playhouse favorites Jason Ross as Rose's love interest Herbie, Austin Price as Tulsa, the lead male dancer in Rose's troupe, Anya Reichers and Natalie Underwood are double cast as Baby June, and Caitlin McMahan will play Baby Louise.

Gypsy was created by three theatrical giants: the book is by two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents, with music by two-time Tony Award winner Jule Styne and lyrics by multiple Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim. The legendary score boasts many songs that became popular standards, including Everything's Coming Up Roses, Together Wherever We Go, Let Me Entertain You, and All I Need Now Is The Girl. Gypsy has been referred to as the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers, among them Ben Brantley ("what may be the greatest of all American musicals...") and Frank Rich. Rich wrote that "Gypsy is nothing if not Broadway's own brassy, unlikely answer to King Lear." Theater critic Clive Barnes wrote, "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."

Gypsy opens on the Playhouse Mainstage July18 and runs through September 5. The show is rated PG and is co-sponsored by Dr. Dirk C. Davidson, MD/Tennessee Plateau Oncology and Fairfield Glade Resort.

Also at the Playhouse: Annie Get Your Gun starring Kellye Cash (rated G, sponsored by Plateau Pediatrics, firearms sponsor: Tabor's Pawn Shop) through July 11; Smoke on the Mountain, (Rated G, sponsored by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store), through August 8; andShrek the Musical (Rated G, co-sponsored by Comfort Suites/Holiday Inn Express/Hampton Inn and Gernt Insurance/Grange Insurance) through August 31. Tickets and information are also available for Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and other events. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Pictured: Weslie Webster, Jason Ross and DeAnna Etchison star in Gypsy.

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