Lorna Luft, daughter of the late Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli's half-sister, will star as Rose in the University of Richmond's mounting of the famed musical Gypsy.
Luft replaces the previously announced Donna McKechnie, who bowed out of the production due to other commitments. Luft, who is the 2002-03 Tucker Boatwright Artist-in-Residence at the University, will star in the Jule Styne Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical from Nov. 21 through Nov. 24 at the Alice Jepson Theatre. Dorothy Holland will direct.
Based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy concerns the life of stage mother Rose and her two daughters, June and Louise. The musical boasts such tunes as "Let Me Entertain You," "You'll Never Get Away from Me," "You Gotta Have a Gimmick," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and the second-act soliloquy, "Rose's Turn." The last Broadway mounting cast "Cagney & Lacey" star Tyne Daly in the role created by Ethel Merman. The 1989 Daly revival won a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical as well as one for its leading lady. Angela Lansbury also won a Tony when she played Rose in 1974.
Singer-actress Lorna Luft made her Broadway debut in Judy Garland: At Home at the Palace. Luft has also appeared in productions of Promises, Promises and Guys and Dolls, and her film credits includes roles in "Grease 2," "My Giant" and "54." Luft penned the biography "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows," which was turned into an Emmy-nominated TV miniseries.
Founded in 1830, the University of Richmond is located in Richmond, Virginia. Tickets for this production are priced between $3 and $8. For more information, go to http://www.urich.edu. In related news: A Broadway revival of Gypsy will begin performances at the Shubert Theatre on March 24. Directed by Sam Mendes, the classic musical will star two-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters as Rose. The show's official opening is scheduled for April 24.
—By Andrew Gans