Principal Casting Announced for Karen Mason Gypsy

News   Principal Casting Announced for Karen Mason Gypsy As previously announced, Karen Mason, the acclaimed singer-actress most recently on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, will head the cast of the Westchester Broadway Theatre's upcoming production of Gypsy.

Mason will play Rose in the forthcoming production, which is scheduled to begin performances May 31 for a limited engagement through Aug. 4. Opening night is June 8.

The production — directed by Richard Stafford — marks Mason's third time playing the stage mother of all stage mothers; she previously starred in the Arthur Laurents-Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical at the St. Louis Muny and at the Sundance Theatre in Utah.

Mason will be joined onstage by Rick Hilsabeck (Herbie), Kelli Barrett (Louise), Sarah Peak (June), Inga Ballard (Mazeppa), Katherine Kendall (Electra), Ann-Ngaire Martin (Tessie), Jordan Nichols (Tulsa). Local children, Kayla Vanderbilt and Alexandra Bradsell, will play the roles of, respectively, Baby June and Young Louise.

The creative team will also feature Jonathan Stahl (associate director), John Daniels (musical direction), George Puello and Steven Loftus (set design), Gail Baldoni (costume design), Andrew Gmoser (lighting design), Gerard Kelly (wig and hair design) and Jonathan Hatton (sound design).

Karen Mason has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, Sunset Boulevard, Jerome Robbins' Broadway and Torch Song Trilogy. Her Off-Broadway credits include And the World Goes 'Round and Carnival, and she has also been seen on the small screen in "Law & Order" and "As the World Turns." A seven-time MAC Award-winning performer, Mason has charmed audiences at Carnegie Hall, Rainbow & Stars, Davenport's and L.A.'s The Cinegrill. Her solo recordings include “The Sweetest of Nights,” "When the Sun Comes Out," "Better Days," "Not So Simply Broadway" and "Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!" Her most recent CD is titled "The Sweetest of Nights." Richard Stafford was the choreographer for Broadway's In My Life, the associate choreographer for Aspects of Love and the dance supervisor for Cats. Off-Broadway, he was the associate director for Summer '69 and associate choreographer of The Middle of Nowhere. Internationally, Stafford has directed and/or choreographed The Full Monty, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita and Cats.

Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Arthur Laurents. The musical 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. Ethel Merman starred as Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters.

The Westchester Broadway Theatre is located at 75 Clearbrook Road in Elmsford, NY. For tickets call (914) 592-2222. For more information visit www.broadwaytheatre.com.

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The Westchester Broadway Theatre will also present Little Shop of Horrors (Aug. 9-Sept. 29) and Maury Yeston's Phantom (Oct. 4-Nov. 25 and Dec. 27, 2007-Jan. 27, 2008).