The ninth- and 10th-grade students in the Wayzata High Theatre Department are getting ready to shine in the upcoming musical production of “Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” for four performances beginning Friday, Feb. 21.
Director Dennis Joslyn said they chose this particular show because it was a Broadway musical that aligned with the theme for this year’s theater season of “forging your own path.”
In addition, “students get this great opportunity to learn about vaudeville theater,” he said, explaining that the show is set in the vaudeville era of the early 20th century through the book musical style of the 1950s.
Considered a love letter to the American theater and the American dream, “Gypsy” is a story about an over-controlling mother named Rose who is determined to make her two daughters, Louise and June, successful vaudeville performers.
The more-talented June grows tired of this and leaves on a quest to become a star on her own.
Louise, although not as talented, then gets her mother’s full focus and gets booked into a burlesque house, “where vaudeville shows go to die,” Joslyn said, quoting a line in the show.
Rose is left to find her way instead of dictating the way of her children, Joslyn explained.
“As much as there is that story and that message of finding your own way and empowering these young women to find their path on earth, this is a show that is largely just for entertainment purpose, just the ability to bring joy to our audience and to make people laugh and smile, even hum along,” Joslyn said, noting classic songs like “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Some People.”
Joslyn encourages community members to get their tickets for this “high-quality entertainment.”
“And for a very low cost, you will leave here so happy,” he said.
Freshman Natalie Tran plays Louise and explained how her character changes throughout the show.
“What I like about playing her is that she goes [on] a very like dramatic character arc,” Tran said. “And you can just see, throughout the show, her slowly gaining more confidence, especially toward the end, that’s when it all just comes out and she is Gypsy Rose Lee.”
Sophomore El-Sara Duopu likes the meaningful songs she gets to sing as Rose and encourages people to check out “Gypsy.”
“Everyone in the cast is really talented and devoted to their character and it’s a really interesting show,” she said.
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