BELLEVUE - A troupe of local performers is about to hit the stage as Bellevue Society for the Arts presents a favorite musical, "Gypsy." The young adult theater group at BSA, directed by Jimy Foreman, is staging "Gypsy" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and July 23 and 24. A matinee is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
The story follows the main character, Louise, from her humble beginnings at the mercy of her controlling mother to the rise of the famous stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee.
Jule Styne's music and Stephen Sondheim's lyrics include all-time favorites, such as "Let Me Entertain You," "Some People," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Together Wherever We Go."
PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER
Brad Rowe as Herbie, Marianne Ailing-Webb as Mama Rose and Jeni Gilbert as Louise perform a scene from “Gypsy.”
The setting for the show is the 1920s, when vaudeville was giving way to burlesque. The original stage production of "Gypsy" played for 702 performances on Broadway starring Ethel Merman as Rose. The BSA version features Marianne Ailing-Webb as the pushy stage mom and Jeni Gilbert as the unwilling Louise, performing in the shadow of her more beautiful sister, June, played by Mara Mossman.
Brad Rowe portrays the girls' manager, Herbie, and Brett Minor is cast as Tulsa, the boy who wins June's heart and whisks her away from show business. Their elopement pushes Louise into the spotlight as Mama forges ahead with her dream to make her daughter a star at any cost, and to experience stardom vicariously. Louise would like nothing better than to give up their nomadic lifestyle and live a normal life.
When one of the star performers is arrested, Rose insists Louise can fill in. Having watched the women perform their bump and grind for a few weeks, Louise reluctantly dons a sleazy costume she has made for another woman and transforms herself from wallflower
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to elegant strip-tease artist.
The cast also includes John Brewer, Adam Cox, Hunter Klein, Kip Rumlow, Scott Romance, Ethan Byrd, John Aiello, Harry Tuttle, Michael Clayton Stults, Heather Chapman, Kira Sizemore, Joanne Smola, Donielle Zimmerman Yates, Teri Sizemore, Monica Siesel, Ray Sizemore III and Tyler Wilson.
Director Jimy Foreman does double duty onstage in the role of Mr. Goldstone. Designed by James Andrews, the set includes a turntable, a lighted
runway and even footlights.
Adult tickets are $10, seniors $8 and children $6. To make reservations, call (419) 484-ARTS.