Musical “Gypsy” premieres on campus this weekend


The cast and crew of the AU fall musical, “Gypsy,” has been working tirelessly to put together an amazing experience for their audience. “Gypsy” is a musical about Rose, the mother of Vaudeville star Gypsy Rose Lee, as together they face the reality of show business. The musical follows the progress of Rose as she works to raise two daughters to live out her dream for them: to perform on stage.

The musical was written by Arthur Laurents with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim is known for writing the lyrics for quite a few other well-beloved musicals, including “Sweeney Todd,” “Into the Woods,” and “Westside Story.”

“Gypsy” discusses the positive and negative aspects of life in show business in the relationship between mother and daughter.

It features famous songs such as “Everything’s Coming Up Rose’s” and “Together (Wherever We Go).” Critics have hailed “Gypsy” as “the greatest American musical.”  It is “the epitome of perseverance and a shining example of the indomitable human spirit.”

Natalie Pridemore, a senior musical theater major, stars as Rose, the “ultimate show-business mother.” She is also prop mistress for the show, which that allows her to be involved from both behind the scenes and on the stage.

Kelsey Megill, junior dance business and marketing major and actress/dancer in the show, said of her experience, “My favorite part about being involved in the show is, by far, being able to see the way it’s progressed from start to finish. There’s such a huge difference between where we started and where we are now, and the story we’re telling has become so incredible in just the month we’ve been rehearsing.”

As the musical goes into tech week, the excitement in the room is palpable. Everyone has a role and knows just what they’re doing. The crew works to perfect every movement that takes place on stage. The directors are working to restage the entire show before its debut Friday, Sept. 30.

As Megill said, “putting all of the pieces together and then putting it on stage has been so rewarding, and I’m really proud to be a part of that journey with all of these incredible people who are doing their best to make this show as great as it can be.”

This group of “incredible people” includes David Coolidge, the director; Kenny Shepard, the choreographer; John Huntoon, the conductor; and Nina Ludwick, the production stage manager. The instructors are working with a group of Anderson students, spanning from freshmen to seniors, veterans to rookies. This unique combination of new talent and familiar faces brings a definite sense of individuality to this production.

The crew works in rehearsals from 5-10 p.m. every evening to master their performances.

Tickets can be purchased from the Reardon box office.