Director and choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge tells us why Gypsy’s timeless story continues to win over hearts and minds
“I thought you did it for me, Momma.”
GYPSY: A Musical Fable, by Arthur Laurents, Jule Style & Stephen Sondheim, is the mother of all mother-daughter stories. Momma Rose deprives her children of being children to strive for her own dream of becoming a star. Or does she? Sondheim has said of Rose: “The fact that she's monstrous to her daughters and the world is secondary...She's a very American character, a gallant figure and a life force.”
The show is also a tale of theatrical stage life on the road. The story covers almost two decades (1920-1937) with Rose and her brood traveling the country overcoming various schemes Rose dreams up for her two daughters; the very talented younger child June and…Louise. The 1930s bring an end to Vaudeville and Rose’s dreams crumble as vaudeville does. With a second-act climax that has become legendary over the years, mother and daughter switch places and a new relationship blooms for Louise and Rose.
I’m drawn to stories that illuminate the human condition. Stories about families with ambitions and dreams, who fail and succeed, have no expiration date. You can bet the hopefuls on television shows like The Voice and American Idol have a Momma Rose pushing them on to greatness.
“And that’s show business.”
- Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Director and Choreographer
Celebrated stage, screen and television actress Vicki Lewis tells us what it means to her to step into the larger-than-life role at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
In her spectacular career, performer Vicki Lewis has done it all. She has starred on Broadway in the Tony Award®-winning revivals of Damn Yankees and Chicago, wowed television audiences as Beth on the hit series Newsradio and performed voiceover work that includes Finding Dory and Finding Nemo, among numerous other roles.
But one role she’s particularly looking forward to: performing the role of Momma Rose in the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of Gypsy (March 21 – April 9).
“Gypsy is in many ways the King Lear of musical theatre – and there are indeed many ghosts to tilt,” she said.
Lewis, who previously worked with director and choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge when performing the title role of the Theatre’s production of Hello, Dolly! in 2012, said she is particularly looking forward to working with Dodge to tell the iconic story.
“In collaboration with Ms Dodge, I trust that we will find our authentic voice,” Lewis said. “Something magical happens in the room between the two of us, which is why – and she knows this – I would follow her anywhere to work.”
Gypsy is sponsored by Marianne Glick and Michael Woods and Suzanne Niedland in loving memory of Art and Meg Niedland.