A musical fable inspired by the memoirs of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy (1959) falls into the respected festival's mandate by being set during the time period on which Bernard Shaw lived. This is the first musical to play the company's flagship Festival stage — not even My Fair Lady , drawn from Shaw's Pygmalion , has played there.
Nora McLellan is stage mother Rose who raises two unhappy showbiz children in the declining years of vaudeville. In real life, they became June Havoc and stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Arthur Laurents penned the libretto, Jule Styne the music and Stephen Sondheim the lyrics.
The Shaw cast includes Trish Lindström (Baby June) and Julie Martell (Louise), Neil Barclay, Bernard Behrens, Anthony Bekenn, Cathy Current, Kevin Dennis, Élodie Gillett, Kate Hennig, Lisa Horner, Jeff Irving, Gabrielle Jones, Chilina Kennedy, Jeff Lillico, Micheal Querin, Ric Reid, Kiera Sangster, Sam Strasfeld, Patricia Vanstone, William Vickers and Darren Voros.
The creative team for the production also includes musical director Paul Sportelli and choreographer and associate director Valerie Moore. Sets are designed by Peter Hartwell, costumes by Judith Bowden, lighting by Kevin Lamotte, and sound by Peter McBoyle.
Gypsy opens May 7 and continues in repertory with other productions to Oct. 30. For more information, visit www.shawfest.com.