The beloved Broadway musical “Gypsy” has withstood the test of time — and now it’s getting the Phoenix Theatrics treatment.
On Friday, Aug. 4, Phoenix Theatrics will kick off a two-weekend run of “Gypsy” at Phoenix Performing Arts Centre, 409 Main St., Duryea.
The show runs Aug. 4-6 and 11-13, with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12, and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the Phoenix box office at 570-457-3589.
“Gypsy,” for the uninitiated, is the acclaimed 1959 musical based on the life of the famous burlesque striptease artist, Gypsy Rose Lee.
“We’re trying an old classic,” said Phoenix artistic director Lee LaChette. “We haven’t done it before, and I love the show as far as old classics go.”
The story’s central character is Gypsy’s mother, Rose (first immortalized on stage by the great Ethel Merman), a quintessential stage mother who is determined to see her talented younger daughter June go on to a successful showbiz career. However, after June elopes, Mama Rose focuses her attentions on her older, seemingly less talented daughter, Louise. Eventually, Louise finds her talents in the world of burlesque, under the stage name Gypsy Rose Lee.
Featuring music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, “Gyspy” includes a long list of iconic showtunes, among them “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Small World,” “You Gotta Get a Gimmick,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “All I Need Is the Girl” and “Rose’s Turn.”
The Phoenix Theatrics production of “Gypsy” will feature a cast of about 22 local performers, including Sherry Klaproth as Rose, Jade Casella as Gypsy and Isabella Mehm as June.
A Broadway revival of “Gypsy” in 2008 made some adjustments to the show’s stage design, which the Phoenix production will largely incorporate.
“We’re keeping it pretty much like the revival — simplistic, corny sets,” LaChette said. “We’re letting the actors take center stage.”
LaChette is the show’s director/choreographer, and Jenn Johnson is musical director. And, serving as the show’s special burlesque choreographer is Jezabelle Von Jane, who serves as co-producer and head mistress at Aerial Gypsy Burlesque, lead designer/owner at Silhouette House and co-producer at Philadelphia’s Burlesque Battle Royale.
“She’s been coming up and working with the girls,” LaChette said of Von Jane. “She did the choreography for all of the strip scenes. She’s known all across the country. She’s top-notch.”
As a special bonus, the first two nights of the production will feature Von Jane and some of her fellow burlesque dancers displaying their talents and mingling with audience members in the theater’s lobby prior to the show.
LaChette said audiences can expect a lively, fun-filled night at the theater.
“It’s definitely going to be a must see,” she said.