Bainbridge Little Theater to perform Gypsy

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2016







BLT’s production of “Gypsy”, which opens Thursday, March 3 at the Bainbridge Little Theatre on Troupe Street, is a family show in every sense of the word. It is about a family and the cast includes several family units.

The show is directed by Sam Higdon of Tallahassee. He is no stranger to Bainbridge, as this is the fifth BLT show under his tutelage. He is assisted by his wife Susan, also well-known for her choreography. Their two sons, William and Jacob are cast members.

The male lead, Herbie, is taken by Eric Gay, who is making his first appearance on the BLT stage. He brought his two daughters, Lollie and Lanie to audition, and decided to try for a role of his own. All three made the cut.

The show is based on the life of strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee and her family, taken from her memoirs. But, it is really the story of her mother, Rose. As a single mother raising two daughters in the 1920s, Rose is convinced her daughters can be show business stars.

The story goes from their early years, when the two had several sister acts that routinely played the vaudeville circuit, to the later years after June, the more talented daughter, runs away to get married. This leaves Louise alone with Rose and their manager, Herbie, who has been pursuing Rose to marry him.

Louise is the shy one who was always uncomfortable on stage. As vaudeville is dying out they are mistakenly booked into a burlesques hall where they are coached by the strippers to get a gimmick if they want to succeed. In desperation, Rose sees a new avenue for success for Louise. She convinces Louise to do a “lady-like” strip tease routine and the rest is history

Herbie gets discouraged and leaves. As Louise finds fame and fortune as Gypsy Rose Lee, Rose finds herself alone. She performs a solo act, “Rose’s Turn,” where she resentfully questions why she did it all if no one appreciates it. During that number she finally realizes she did it all for herself.

The show is full of tunes, the more familiar being, “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” and “Let me Entertain You.” There is also a lot of comedy interspersed with the drama.

The Broadway production starred Ethel Merman as Rose. She gave the role a bold and brassy flavor. We can expect nothing less from BLT’s leading lady, Pamela Barnes. A veteran of the stage, Barnes brings the aggressive, domineering character to life. She describes Rose as “a maniacally driven stage mother who is living her own dreams through her children.“

Daughters, Louise and June are portrayed as young girls by Maloree Inlow and Lollie Gay, respectively, while the adult versions are Rachel Rentz and Alaiya Schuyler. More family members, brothers Eli Poche and Quest Brown have roles in the show, as does Rosie Rentz. Tessie Tura is played by Jenna Chambless, Electra is Jennifer Robbins, and Miss Mazeppa is Rachael Crager. Completing the cast rolls are: Aubri Donalson, Austin Rowe, Caiden Ethridge, Christie Whitaker, Edward Moorhead, Jennifer Cerone, Michael Brown, Piper Loeffler, and Payton Staples.

The play is written by Arthur Laurents, with musical composition by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Musical director is Mike Inlow.

The curtain rises at 7:30 each night, (Thurs., Fri. and Sat.) with a 2:30 matinee on Sundays.

Tickets are available by contacting BLT by phone at 229-246-8345 or