Show Photographs

32nd Festival Season - 2010


Music by: Jule Styne
Lyrics by: Stephen Sondheim
Book by: Arthur Laurents

ACT I: One of the acts in Uncle Jocko’s Kiddie Show in Seattle is Baby June and Company, featuring two sisters dressed as a blonde Dutch girl (June) and brunette boy (Louise). Although Jocko has ordered all mothers out of the theatre, the girls’ mother, Rose, coaches them from the audience and tries to disabuse Jocko of fixing the contest on behalf of some rich parent. Rose, determined to make a star out of June, has her eyes on the professional circuit – in a dream, she pictures an entirely new act: June and her Newsboys. Despite pleas from her father, Pop, that she settle down and raise the kids in a normal life, Rose is driven to seek the vicarious stardom that she, herself, never experienced. Rose and her girls have hitched a ride to Los Angeles, where they find little interest in the act until candy salesman and former variety agent Herbie convinces Mr. Weber, the theatre manager, to give the act a try. Herbie’s interest lies more in Rose than in promoting Baby June, but there are obstacles: he wants marriage, she doesn’t; she wants show business, he doesn’t.

Rose, June, Louise, the three boys of the act (Tulsa, L.A., and Yonkers), and Herbie (acting as their agent) are on the road, sharing a pair of sleazy hotel rooms and eating reheated Chinese food. Rose remembers that it is Louise’s birthday, but that is soon forgotten when Herbie introduces the promoter Mr. Goldstone, who has accepted the act on the Orpheum Circuit. Rose falls hard for Goldstone, as Louise is left unattended in the corner, singing to the lamb that her mother had given her as a present. Much time passes–the still–juvenile act is now in New York, with Rose continuing to dress the girls in childish costumes, her sights now set on Broadway. If Herbie can help get June’s name up in lights just once, she will agree to marry him. Mr. Grantziger auditions the act and, seeing in June the makings of an actress, offers them a week in his theatre and a year's acting lessons for June, but without her mother present. Rose refuses the offer – she will make June a star herself. June, however, runs off with Tulsa to form their own dance–team act. Rose, undaunted, has had another dream – she will start over again and make Louise the star.

ACT II: The new act is called Madame Rose's Toreadorables, with Rose insisting that Louise wear a blonde wig and duplicate June's performance. She finally agrees that Louise can stay brunette, but that all other girls be blonde, renaming the act Rose Louise and Her Hollywood Blondes. Just when the act and their fortune is about to hit bottom, they secure a gig at a Wichita theater, which turns out to be a burlesque house that has booked the act just to provide some respectability. Herbie, meanwhile, has finally got Rose to agree to marriage, but, again, show business interferes. When a guest stripper gets arrested for soliciting and the theatre is in the lurch, Rose volunteers Louise, who had learned a little of the trade while sharing a dressing room with strippers Tessie Tura, Mazeppa, and Electra. With her mom shouting directions from the wings just like with Uncle Jocko, Louise – under the name Gypsy Rose Lee – shaky at first, is a success. With increasingly little need for her mother as her fame and riches grow in a national tour, she becomes the Queen of Striptease. Only when Louise overhears her mother, on a bare stage at Minsky’s, giving the performance that life and circumstance denied her does she begin to understand her mother's need for attention and how similar they really are.

Production Team
ConductorMichael Borowitz
ConductorSelim Giray†
Stage DirectorSteven Daigle
ChoreographyCarol Hageman
Costume DesignWhitney Locher
Scenic DesignErich R. Keil
Lighting DesignKrystal Kennel
Rose, The MotherJulie Wright Costa
Herbie, candy salesman and Rose’s managerNicholas Wuehrmann
June, Rose’s daughterKarla Hughes* Natalie Ballenger**
Louise, Rose’s other daughter and Gypsy, the stripperCecily Ellis–Bills* Elisa Matthews**
Tessie Tura, ballet stripperSarah Best
Mazeppa, trumpet stripperChelsea Basler
Electra, lightbulb stripperRaina Thorne
Uncle Jocko, vaudeville master of ceremoniesMark Snyder
Georgie, Jocko’s assistantMichael Davis Smith
Balloon Girl, auditioning childAnnaliese Wagoner
Clarinet Boy (Clarence), auditioning childJack Neill
Baby June, Rose’s baby daughterNoelle Crites
Baby Louise, Rose’s other baby daughterTaylor Mills
Pop, Rose’s fatherGary Moss
Weber, theater manager in Los AngelesMax Nolin
Farm Boys:
TulsaJustin Bills
L.A.Jon Gerhard
YonkersAdam VonAlmen
AngieLogan Walsh
Kringelein, hotel manager in AkronGeoffrey Kannenberg
AgnesCaroline Bassett Miller
Marjorie MaeChelsea Hart
DoloresErin Schmura
Mr. Goldstone, representative of the Orpheum circuitAnthony Maida
Miss Cratchitt, secretary at Grantziger’s PalaceAllison Toth
Cigar, theater manager in WichitaWill Perkins
Pastey, stage manager in WichitaEzra Bershatsky
Renée, Louise’s maidJacqueline Komos
Phil, Louise’s press agentAdam VonAlmen
Bourgeron-Cochon, photographerJohn Callison
* June 22, 29, July 7, 17, 29
** June 26, July 2, 9, 23, August 4
† June 29, July 2, 17
Ensemble: Chelsea Basler, Ezra Bershatsky, Sarah Best, Lori Birrer, John Callison, Malia French, Jon Gerhard, Chelsea Hart, Geoffrey Kannenberg, Jacqueline Komos, Sarah Levering, Anthony Maida, Caroline Bassett Miller, Gary Moss, Max Nolin, Will Perkins, Erin Schmura, Michael Davis Smith, Mark Snyder, Raina Thorne, Adam VonAlmen, Logan Walsh