News from the Tennessee Valley Diversions

Gypsy, left, with Mama Rose, sees the bright lights of vaudeville in the musical coming to Huntsville next weekend.
Courtesy photo
Gypsy, left, with Mama Rose, sees the bright lights of vaudeville in the musical coming to Huntsville next weekend.

‘Gypsy’ steps
off Broadway

Long-running musical coming to Huntsville

By Patrice Stewart · 340-2446

It’s a tale of ambition and jealousy.

It explores family relationships, too, as well as the loss of innocence.

Oh, and striptease artists are included, at no extra charge.

You’ll go away humming “Let Me Entertain You” after you see the touring Broadway musical “Gypsy” next weekend in Huntsville.

The Broadway Theatre League will present five performances at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall Nov. 16-18.

Remember the song “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”? That’s from “Gypsy.”

So are “You Gotta Get a Gimmick,” “Rose’s Turn,” “Some People” and “Together Wherever We Go.”

This long-time favorite opened on Broadway in 1959 starring Ethel Merman as the overbearing stage mother, Mama Rose. Later revivals starred actresses such as Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics and Jule Styne the music, while Arthur Laurents did the book. It is based on the memoirs of entertainer Gypsy Rose Lee.

The New York Times calls it “the greatest of all American musicals.”

That could be partly because it covers the all-too-familiar story of an ambitious mother who won’t let anything stand in the way of her dream of turning her daughters into stars.

“Gypsy” is the story of how no-talent Louise Hovick rises from behind the shadow of dainty June, her younger sister, to become the 1930s vaudeville burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee.

“While the title suggests that this musical is about the famous stripper, it is really about her hard-driven, determined stage mother, Mama Rose,” said Broadway Theatre League spokeswoman Becky Cobb.

“In the beginning, Rose concentrates on June, leaving older, less talented Louise in the cold. When June tires of being cute and runs away, Rose turns to Louise instead,” she said.

Louise discovered her own talent and eventually becomes a bigger star than her mother ever imagined. The mother is left alone, with her own show business aspirations still unrealized.

Throughout the show, suitors of all ages try to capture the attention of mother and daughters.

This touring show is produced by Phoenix Entertainment, an international theatrical producing and management company.

If you go

What: A touring production of “Gypsy”

When: Nov. 16-18, with performances Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.

Where: Von Braun Center Concert Hall

Tickets: $36 to $61; purchase by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-277-1700, online at, by visiting the Von Braun Center box office or through the Broadway Theatre League office, 518-6155 or

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