Rousing musical ‘ Gypsy ’ comes to Oswego Players stage in July

Pictured in rehearsal for “Gypsy” are, left to right, Kate Crawford as Louise, Cathleen O’Brien Brown as Mama Rose, Scott Bandla as Herbie and Olivia DeLorenzo as June.
Pictured in rehearsal for “Gypsy” are, left to right, Kate Crawford as Louise, Cathleen O’Brien Brown as Mama Rose, Scott Bandla as Herbie and Olivia DeLorenzo as June.

A musical based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee was a project of producer David Merrick and actress Ethel Merman and now is being brought to life by the Oswego Players.

Gypsy is a musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents; which focuses on Gypsy’s mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.”

It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.

The character of Louise is based on Lee, and the character of June is based on Lee’s sister, the actress June Havoc.

The Oswego Players are welcoming Syracuse favorites Cathleen O’Brien Brown and Kate Crawford in the leading roles of Mama Rose and Gypsy Rose Lee. Oswegoinans Scott Bandla and Olivia DeLorenzo shine in the roles of Herbie and June.

Bandla, who teaches English at the Oswego High School, recenlty chillingly portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in the Players Christmas production of  “A Christmas Carol.” Olivia recently played the Sassy blueberry girl Varuca Salt in the Players last production of “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”!

The cast, directed by Inez Parker Manor, also includes Hayley Bandla, Brooklyn Saternow, Riley Bandla, Will Bandla, Norman Berlin lll, Ryan Sparks, Bridget O’Donnell, Rita Warlock, Tammy Wilkinson, Patrick Carmen, Stephanie Johnson, Julia Preston-Fulton, Elyssa Terry-DeRycke, Rueby Wood Holsopple and Michael Moss.

The musical contains many songs that became popular standards, including “Everything’s Coming up Roses,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Let Me Entertain You,” “All I Need Is the Girl” and “Rose’s Turn.” Musical direction is by Abel Searor.

Gypsy has been referred to as the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers. Amoung them theater critic Clive Barnes wrote that “ ‘Gypsy’ is one of the best of musicals…” and described the character of Rose as “one of the few truly complex characters in the American musical.”

It’s only fitting that the Oswego Player’s production of Gyspy opens Friday, July 4 on our greatest American holiday. The run continues Saturday July 5 and the following weekend, July 11 and 12 at 8 p.m..

There is a special matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday July 13.

Tickets are $15 each and the production is sponsored by CNY Arts, Inc. For reservations call 343-5138.

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