Libby Whittemore, an Atlanta cabaret mainstay through the 1980s, '90s and into the new millenium, will take on the monsterous role of Mama Rose in Gypsy, playing Atlanta's Actor's Express Sept. 12-Oct. 13. Obie winner Emma Griffin, aristic director of NYC's Salt Theater, helms the revival.
One of the classics of the musical theatre, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's Gypsy loosely adapts the story of June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee, dragged by their driven mother Rose through the vaudeville circuit in search of stardom. Songs include "Some People," "Little Lamb," "You'll Never Get Away From Me" and the monumental "Rose's Turn." The book is by Arthur Laurents.
Whittemore got her start in Atlanta's popular "Della's Diner" series before going on to perform her own one-woman shows at Upstairs at Gene & Gabe's. When cabaret died out in Atlanta in the early '90's, she took to TV and film before opening her own supper club, Libby's. She has released two solo CDs with a third one on the way.
Wendy Melkonian is Louise. Also in the cast are Scott Higgs (Herbie), Donna Wright (Mazeppa), Barbara Cole (June), Kim Bowers-Rheay (Tessie Tura), Brit Whittle (Uncle Jocko et al.) and Mark Grey (Georgie et al.)
Tickets are $20-$25. Actor's Express is located in the King Plow Arts Center at 887 West Marietta Street. For reservations, call (404) 607 SHOW. Actor's Express is on the web at http://www.actorsexpress.com. — By Christine Ehren