"Let us entertain you!" That's just what the award-winning J*Company Youth Theatre, a program of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS, is getting ready to do as they prepare to stage the third show in their musical theatre line up for its 20th Anniversary Season tribute to Barbra Streisand.
Following the moving production of YENTL, J*Company Youth Theater will present GYPSY- A Musical Fable, soon to be revived in a film featuring Ms. Streisand herself. GYPSY features music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. The play is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with "the ultimate show business mother."
According to Artistic Director Joey Landwehr, "this is, at its core, a play about family. It's about mothers and daughters and how they come together and rip apart." This presentation of the acclaimed GYPSY is family friendly and a show for all ages!
Playing the role of Momma Rose, the overbearing stage mother made famous by Ethel Merman , will be 17 year- old Lindsey Grant, a Canyon Crest Academy senior. Landwehr calls Grant "a heavy hitter" with the powerhouse voice to take on signature songs like "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "Rose's Turn"- the quintessential "11 o'clock number."
The role of Louise, who goes from reluctant performer to famed burlesque queen will be shared by three young actresses in this production: Adira Rosen, (age 13, Media Arts Middle School), Natalie Bialostozky (age 18, Mira Costa College and ultimately, Mara Jacobs (age 17, High Tech High International). Her sister June will be performed by Celia Tedde (age 15, San Diego Jewish Academy) and Nika Sadr (age 10, The Children's School). Young Ian Laughbaum (age 15, Greater San Diego Academy) will take on the role of the much - maligned Herbie. Ian, usually cast for his comedic chops and will have to adjust to playing the straight man for this production. Landwehr, who appeared in the National Tour as Tulsa in 1992, is thrilled to team up again with Choreographer Roxane Carrasco,who choreographed J*Company's 2011 production of The Who's: TOMMY. In addition, Musical Director Tim McKnight is back on board and will direct on live on stage orchestra featuring over a dozen musicians.
All four shows this season pay tribute to "the brilliance that is Babs," said J*Company Artistic Director, Joey Landwehr, who has been planning this season since he took the post seven years ago.
GYPSY -A Musical Fable -Performance dates: March 1-17, 2013