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.

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Pulitzers play Little Rock – Arkansas Rep’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

cat20tin20roof-webMendacity hangs in the air through any production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Since it premiered on Broadway in 1955, it has been performed in Little Rock numerous times.

In 2010, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre presented this play in a languid, steaming production.  Directed by Robert Hupp, the cast was led by Trista Moldovan, Michael Ellison, and Joe Vincent.  Rep favorites Amy Tribbey and Jeff Bailey were in the cast as well as Kathleen Doyle, Brian Wallace, and Roger Jerome.

The design team included Mike Nichols (sets), Margaret A. McKowen (costumes), Matthew Webb (lighting), Jason Pruzin (sound) and Lynda J. Kwallek (props).

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama being given. To pay tribute to 100 years of the Pulitzer for Drama, each day this month a different Little Rock production of a Pulitzer Prize winning play will be highlighted.  Many of these titles have been produced numerous times.  This look will veer from high school to national tours in an attempt to give a glimpse into Little Rock’s breadth and depth of theatrical history.