'Student Gypsy' Opens at Eureka Theater on 03/29
42nd Street Moon continues its fifteenth season of Uncommon Musicals in Concert with Alameda native Rick Besoyan's riotously funny The Student Gypsy (or "The Prince of Liederkranz"), the 1963 follow-up to his smash-hit operetta-spoof, Little Mary Sunshine. Maureen McVerry, who made her highly-acclaimed company debut last year in Pardon My English, returns to play the role of gypsy queen Zampa Allescu. The show previews on March 27 & 28, opens on March 29 at 6 pm, and runs through April 13, with a special family matinee on Saturday April 5 @ 1 pm.
A wacky hybrid, like a Romberg operetta crossed with a zany Marx Brothers farce, The Student Gypsy is set in turn-of-the-century Singspielia, where Merry May Glockenspiel, a charming but myopic young woman, takes up with a band of gypsies in her search for romance. Her mentor, Zampa the Gypsy Queen, has a dark secret involving the true identity of the Prince of neighboring Liederkranz. The show opened to good reviews, but a newspaper strike kept much of the public from reading opinions such as the NY Daily News that hailed it as "fresh, delightfully tuneful, and achingly funny." Songs include Romance, Seventh Heaven Waltz, and the show's hit, the daffy bell-ringing number Ting-a-Ling Dearie.
Maureen McVerry, winner of five Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards and two Drama-Logue Awards, has appeared with such Bay Area theater companies as A.C.T., TheatreWorks, and San Jose Rep., and was most recently featured in the Aurora Theatre's Sex. Since 1994 she has performed her evolving one-woman cabaret show, Verry McVerry. Film and television credits include Nine Months, True Believer, Big Business, The Ox and the Eye, and Full House.
The Student Gypsy will be directed by 42nd Street Moon's Founding Artistic Director, Greg McKellan. Dave Dobrusky is Music Director and Staci Arriaga will choreograph. Rena Wilson, recently featured in the Willows Production of Cats, stars with McVerry as Merry May Glockenspiel, the role originated by Eileen Brennan. Recent New York transplant Gabriel Grilli is Rudolph Von Schlump and Tony Panighetti takes Dom DeLuise's old role as medicine show entertainer, Muffin T. Ragamuffin. Papa Glockenspiel is played by Richard Pardini, with Tyler Kent as Col. Helmut Blunderbuss. Juliet Heller as Ginger Glockenspiel, Jarrod Quon as Zampa's son, the evil Gryphon Allescu, and Buzz Halsing as King Osgood the Good. Other cast members are Brandon Finch, Lillian Askew, Molly Coogan, Samantha Bartholomew, Erin Hoffman and Christopher Nelson.
Moon at 15! continues with the André Previn/Alan Jay Lerner tribute to the fascinating world of Parisian fashion, Coco (1968). Cabaret and concert star Andrea Marcovicci brings her captivating high style to the role of the mercurial fashion doyenne Coco Chanel. Coco will be presented April 24 May 11, 2008.
Tickets ranging from $22 - $38 are available through the 42nd Street Moon Box Office at 415/255-8207 (Open Tues. Fri. from noon to 5 p.m.), or through the website www.42ndstmoon.org <http://www.42ndstmoon.org/> . All performances are presented at San Francisco's intimate Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St. in San Francisco.