Former Evita Will Be Mama Rose in Cardiff Gypsy

News   Former Evita Will Be Mama Rose in Cardiff Gypsy London stage actress Kathryn Evans, who was the final performer to star in the title role in the original West End production of Evita, has been cast in the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre's upcoming production of Gypsy.

Playbill.com has learned that Evans will star as the stage mother of all stage mothers, Mama Rose, in the classic musical. Evans joins the previously announced Helena Blackman as Gypsy Rose Lee and Julia McKenzie as Mazeppa.

Newcomers to the cast also include Nick Hayes as Tulsa and Lara Pulver as Dainty June as well as John Conroy and Brian Kenedey, who will both play various male roles.

This year's Festival, which is celebrating the centenary of the late Jule Styne, will present Styne's Gypsy Oct. 29 at 7:30 PM at the Wales Millennium Center. Directed by Lisa Kent, the one-night-only event will feature a full orchestra under the baton of Stewart Mackintosh. Gypsy is a co-production of the Festival and the Millennium Center.

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Arthur Laurents. The musical — with Ethel Merman as Rose — bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. Subsequent revivals have featured Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters as Rose. A 1962 film featured Rosalind Russell as Rose with Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee; a 1993 TV version cast Bette Midler in the lead role.

Kathryn Evans has starred in the U.K. in productions of On Your Toes, Anything Goes, Radio Times, Aspects of Love, Mack and Mabel, On the Twentieth Century, The Fix, Into the Woods, The Rink, Follies and A Little Night Music. Her television appearances include two Royal Variety programs, the Laurence Olivier Awards as well as a leading role in “Tiger Bastable.” Evans can be heard on the original London cast recordings of Anything Goes, Mack and Mabel, Radio Times, Success and The Fix. Tickets, priced £10-£90, are available by calling 08701 283 560. Visit www.cardiffmusicals.com for more information.

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