Patti's Turn: LuPone Is Mama Rose in Ravinia's Gypsy Beginning Aug. 11

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11 Aug 2006

Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
Paul Kolnik (Sweeney Todd), Martha Swope (Evita) and Brigitte Lacombe (Anything Goes)

One of the great musical theatre actresses takes on one of the all-time great musical theatre roles when Patti LuPone begins a weekend of performances as (Mama) Rose in the Ravinia Festival's mounting of Gypsy.

LuPone, who is currently on vacation from the acclaimed Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, stars as the stage mother of all stage mothers in the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical, which plays the Ravinia, in Highland Park, IL, Aug. 11-13 at 7:30 PM each night.

Directed by Lonny Price, Gypsy also features Jack Willis as Herbie, In My Life’s Jessica Boevers in the title role, Leo Ash Evens as Tulsa, Katie Rancourt as Baby Louise, Ashton Smalling as Baby June, Jen Temen as June, Rengin Altay as Miss Cratchitt, Derin Altay as Electra, Jane Blass as Mazeppa, Debra Watassek as Tessie Tura, Michael Weber as Uncle Jocko/Mr. Goldstone and Richard Henzel as Pop/Kringelein.

The company also includes Nancy Braun as Mother/Hollywood Blonde/Toreadorable/Dolores/Cow (Act I), Molly C. Callinan as Mother/Hollywood Blonde/Toreadorable/Show Girl, Javonte Childress as Newsboy/Rich Boy, Robyn Clark as Mother/Hollywood Blonde/Toreadorable/Renee, Nick Coussens as Clarence/Newsboy/Tap Dance Boy, Joe Dempsey as George/Pastey/Phil/ Chauffeur, Trevor Efinger as Farmboy/L.A./Cow/Sign Man, Elana Ernst as Mother/Waitress/Hollywood Blonde/ToreadorableAgnes, Kenneth-Michael Glass as Farmboy/Sign Man, David Hull as Farmboy/Angie, Kamilah Lay as Balloon Girl, Cassandra Liveris as Hollywood Blonde/Toreadorable/Marjorie May/Cow, Katheryn Patton as Mother/Hollywood Blonde/Toreadorable, Matt Raftery as Dance Captain/Farmboy/Cow/Sign Man, Richie Roesner as Newsboy/Young Scout, Justin Stein as Assistant Stage Manager/Scout Leader/Photographer, Marc Tumminelli as Farmboy/Yonkers/Scout Leader and Cedric Young as Cigar.

The actors will be backed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Paul Gemignani.



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.

A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, Patti LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Lés Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and a Tony nomination for her performance in the current revival of that Sondheim work. She was seen in the Kennedy Center's staging of Marc Blitzstein's Regina, and her newest solo recording is titled "The Lady with the Torch."

Gypsy tickets can be reserved by calling (847) 266-5100 or by visiting www.ravinia.org.