Gypsy

GYPSY is the ultimate story about an aggressive stage mother. Join Rose, June and Louise in their trip across the United States during the 1920’s, when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. Jule Styne’s music and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics include Let Me Entertain You, Some People, You’ll Never Get Away from Me, If Momma Was Married, All I Need Is the Girl, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, You Gotta Get A Gimmick and Together Wherever We Go. This is a gripping story of one of the most frightening aspects of show business.

Details

The story starts in Seattle with stage mother, Rose, pushing her two daughters into Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Show. June, her mother feels, is the most likely to become a star. Louise is plainer and quieter; she stands meekly in her sister’s shadow. A new act called ‘Baby June and her Newsboys’ is conceived by Rose, and the family is off to the ‘big time’ in Los Angeles. The act steeped in star spangled banners, dancing horses (Louise plays the rear end), and screaming newsboys moves to Dallas, Akron, New York, Buffalo and Omaha. Along the way Rose meets Herbie, a theatrical agent, and hires him as manager. He makes himself father to the troupe, sharing with them their meals of chow mein, Rose’s favorite food. Rose scrimps as she schemes and scrambles for bookings and billings to maintain their hand to mouth existence. She sleeps her charges six in a dingy hotel room and makes their costumes from hotel blankets. Her object is to make her two penniless girls into world stars. The girls begin to grow up and the act becomes ‘Dainty June and her Newsboys.’ Unfortunately its quality does not improve. Bookings are cancelled and the act moves on.

Louise wishes that Momma would marry a plain man so they could settle down. Herbie proposes but is rejected. June elopes with Tulsa, one of the boys in the act. Rose sets out to make Louise into the star. She bursts into new enthusiasm with the rousing number Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Behind Rose lies a worrying sense of doom; a feeling that she never will fulfill her dream of stardom for her girls because it is really a dream of stardom for herself.

Finally the troupe reaches the bottom, a burlesque house in Wichita. Rose laments that she would rather starve than perform there. Louise realizes there is no vaudeville left except for burlesque. Here the clumsy Louise shoots into stardom by becoming something different: a ladylike stripper. Three strippers dressed respectively in a ballet costume, a trumpet and well placed electric light bulbs are used in a most exaggerated, but very funny number, You Gotta Get a Gimmick, to indicate the difference between the usual brassy stripper and the very elegant Louise. At last Louise breaks away from her mother and goes out on her own as Gypsy Rose Lee.

Rose bursts into the plaintive Rose’s Turn in which she sings of her suppressed talents that she has sacrificed to further the careers of her unappreciative daughters.

GYPSY

A Musical Fable, Book by Arthur Laurents

Music by Jule Styne Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Suggested by memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee

Original Production by David Merrick & Leland Hayward

Entire production originally directed and

choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

GYPSY
is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York

Full Instrumentation

(* indicates optional Reed instrument)

2 Violin A
1 Violin B
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass

1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: *Flute, *Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed III: *Flute, *Piccolo, Clarinet, *Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & *Bass Saxophone
1 Reed IV: *Oboe, *English Horn, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed V: Clarinet, *Bass Clarinet, *Bassoon & Baritone Saxophone

1 Horn
1 Trumpets I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
1 Trombone III (Bass Trombone)

1 Harp

2 Percussion I & II:

Timpani (2 Drums)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Bass Drum
Tom Tom
Suspended Cymbal (Soft & Hard Mallets)
Hand Cymbals
Hi-Hat Cymbals
Tam Tam
Xylophone
Vibraphone
Glockenspiel
Slapstick
Castanets
Temple Blocks
Slide Whistle
Bird Whistle
Train Whistle
Cow Bell
Wood Block
Chimes
Maracas

Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.)

Principals

(6 female; 2 male)

Rose — the Mother
June — Rose’s daughter
Louise — Rose’s other daughter, later Gypsy, the stripper
Tessie Tura — ballet stripper
Mazeppa — trumpet stripper
Electra — lightbulb stripper

Herbie — candy salesman and Rose’s manager
Tulsa — farm boy, etc. (with others)

Supporting

Uncle Jocko — vaudeville master of ceremonies
Georgie — Jocko’s assistant
Balloon Girl — auditioning child; non-speaking
Clarinet Boy (Clarence) — auditioning child
Baby June — Rose’s baby daughter
Baby Louise — Rose’s other baby daughter
Pop — Rose’s father
Rich Man — driver of a touring car; non-speaking
Rich Man’s Son — driver’s son; non-speaking
Tap Dancing Urchin — roadside kid; non-speaking
Little Boy Scout — another roadside kid; non-speaking
Weber — theatre manager in Los Angeles
L.A. — farm boy, etc. (with others)
Yonkers — farm boy, etc. (with others)
Angie — farm boy, etc. (with others)
Kringelein — hotel manager in Akron
Mr. Goldstone — representative of the Orpheum Circuit
Miss Cratchitt — secretary at Grantziger’s Palace
Agnes — Hollywood Blonde
Marjorie May — Hollywood Blonde
Dolores — Hollywood Blonde
Thelma — Hollywood Blonde; non-speaking
Gail — Hollywood Blonde; non-speaking
Cigar — theatre manager in Wichita
Pastey — stage manager in Wichita
Offstage Announcer — introducing Gypsy across the country
Renée — Louise’s maid
Phil — Louise’s press agent
Bourgeron-Cochon — photographer

Others

Auditioning Kids & their Mothers
Boy Scouts
Hotel Guests
Restaurant Wait Staff
Front & Rear Cow
Stagehands at Grantziger’s and in Wichita
Other Strippers
Backstage Figures & Showgirls

The original Broadway production had a cast of 44 performers. The show has no dedicated chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

GYPSY originally played for 702 performances on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre starring Ethel Merman as Rose. It played for 300 performances in London at the Piccadilly Theatre with Angela Lansbury as Rose. This extremely successful show has been revived on Broadway no less than four times: In 1974 with Angela Lansbury, in 1989 with Tyne Daly, in 2003 with Bernadette Peters, and in 2008 with Patti LuPone as Rose.

Awards (1975)

The Tony Award for Actress
2 Theatre World Awards (Zan Charisse and John Sheridan)

Awards (1990)

2 Tony Awards for Revival and Actress
2 Drama Desk Awards for Revival and Actress
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Revival and Actress
2 Theatre World Awards (John Lambert and Crista Moore)

Awards (2003)

The Theatre World Award (Tammy Blanchard)

Awards (2008)

3 Tony Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
3 Drama Desk Awards for Actress, Featured Actress and Featured Actor
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actress and Featured Actress