31 Days of Arkansas Rep: GYPSY in 2003

In June 2003, the Arkansas Rep went back to the dying days of vaudeville when it presented Gypsy.  Written by Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim, this musical fable looks at the end of vaudeville and the rise of Gypsy Rose Lee.  It was directed by Rep founder Cliff Fannin Baker.

Baker said he had long wanted to do the show, but credited Bob Hupp (his successor as the Rep’s Producing Artistic Director) with figuring out a way to make it happen.

Mary Robin Roth took on the role of Mama Rose. She had previously played Miss Hannigan in Annie at the Rep.  Broadway vets Trista Moldovan and Joyce Chittick played Rose’s daughters Louise and June. In real life those grew up to be Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc.  Others in the cast of approximately 30 included John Kudan, Nicholas Dromard, and Steve Wilkerson.

The creative team included Mike Nichols (scenery), Margaret A. McKowen (costumes), David Neville (lighting) and M. Jason Pruzin (sound). Ron Hutchins choreographed, and Eric Alsford was the musical director.

Even before opening night, the production was extended a week and ended on July 6 instead of June 29.

Creative Class 2016: Kathryn Pryor

cc16-pryorWhile she may be a successful attorney by day, Kathryn Pryor, is also an accomplished singer and actor.

Having grown up appearing on stage, it is no surprise she continues to appear in productions throughout Central Arkansas.

Earlier this year she reprised her role of Hillary Clinton in the biennial political spoof Gridiron.   Over the years she has also played leading roles in GYPSY, CABARET, SWEENEY TODD, COMPANY, VICTOR/VICTORIA, SOUTH PACIFIC, and MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.  

In addition, she has appeared in New York in a cabaret act with her brother Will Trice. For the 2015 edition of the Arkansas Arts Center’s Tabriz, she and Will reprised their act.

ROCKing the TONYS – Bernadette Peters

Rock the TonysBernadette_Peters_a_pBernadette Peters

Little Rock connection: In February 1997, appeared with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Tony Awards connection: Winner of two Tony Awards for Actress in a Musical (Song & Dance – 1986 and Annie Get Your Gun – 1999), in 2013 she received the Isabelle Stevenson Award recognizing her philanthropic efforts as a co-founder of “Broadway Barks.” She has hosted the Tony Awards ceremony and appeared as a presenter and entertainer on several other occasions.  Peters has also been nominated for Tonys for Featured Actress in a Musical (On the Town – 1972) and Actress in a Musical (Mack & Mabel – 1975; Sunday in the Park with George – 1984; The Goodbye Girl – 1993; and Gypsy – 2003). She has also starred in the Tony winning productions of George M!, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Follies.

Architeaser May 21

Yesterday’s Architeaser kicked off a week of architectural flowers in the City of Roses. Appropriately, yesterday’s feature was the old Rose Law Firm building on Main Street. It was built in 1908 and features architectural roses across the front facade.

On the date in 1959, the musical Gypsy opened in Broadway. It contains the song “Everything’s Coming up Roses.”. Appropriately, today’s Architeaser showcases another rose on a building in Little Rock.