What’s one word that describes this year’s spring musical, “Gypsy?” According to some cast members: bigger. Much bigger. Sponsored by the Department of Music and opening the week of April 5, “Gypsy” will involve a myriad of dance numbers, emotion and passion.
The musical tells the story of Rose, a mother who pushes her two young daughters into show business. After years in the business, Rose’s young daughter June quits and elopes, leaving Louise to carry out her sister’s legacy. Louise takes the only job she can get—one in a burlesque house—and transforms herself into Gypsy Rose Lee, a notorious dancer.
Geneseo’s rendition of the musical features two outside hires as the orchestrators: director Scott Scaffidi—a friend of musical director Don Kot—and choreographer Katie LeSur.
“The students are working really hard—it’s a big show,” Scaffidi said. “Lots of people are playing different roles; it takes place over 10 years. It’s a historical piece, too, because it takes place in the Vaudeville Era, when movies with sound were becoming a thing and the Great Depression happened and all that … so there are a lot of moving parts.”
The student cast members are incredibly enthusiastic about the upcoming performance. Communication and musical theatre double major junior Sophie Yeomans—who plays Rose—claims this musical is “going to be bigger than ever before.”
“With the dance incorporated, too, the songs are just bigger and the staging is bigger. This just seems much grander,” she said. “It’s going to be a true spectacle.”
Furthermore, this cast exhibits great chemistry. “What’s really special about this show is that you can tell that the people onstage have a real connection as well,” music major freshman Rachel Wilson said. Wilson plays two characters and is the production’s dance captain. “I think that’s so special and it will read really well for the audience, and the audience will be so transported because I know just during the rehearsal process, I find myself getting lost in what they’re doing onstage.”
The choreography is one of the most appealing attributes of this show, according to the cast and crew.
“I think for everyone, the choreography has been really new and exciting.” Wilson said. “I know not everyone in the major has dance as their strongest talent, but we’re super excited about it and it’s been an awesome experience from day one. Seeing the growth from the beginning has been so incredible; everyone has just been really pushing themselves and really digging right in—it’s awesome.”
In addition to the astounding choreography, look out for some of the cast member’s favorite scenes when watching the show.
“I personally like the cow and farm scene, just because of its high energy and fun dance number,” musical theater major junior Jessica Murphy—who plays Louise—said. “There’s just so much going on and there’s so many different pieces of it put together.”
Murphy added, “I also love the dressing room scene between me and Sophie. There’s so much power in the scene; I think it grows so much throughout, and it just shows the overall arch of the characters.”
No matter your favorite element of the show, it’s sure to be a stellar performance. You can catch “Gypsy” at the Alice Austin Theatre from April 5-9.