Leslie Uggams to Star in CRT's "Gypsy"
In April 2014, Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal announced that Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Leslie Uggams would be starring as Rose in Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) production of GYPSY: A Musical Fable July 10-20. This announcement quickly spread through social media circles and the theatre community and set off a firestorm of discussion on message boards and Twitter about casting an African American actress in this iconic role.
“We weren’t necessarily looking for an actress of color but rather an incredible talent to play this incredibly challenging role,” Cardinal said. “The actor needed to be able to sing and act brilliantly – this is the King Lear of musical theatre. When we found Leslie Uggams, we were thrilled and honored to have such a legendary talent in this legendary role.”
Gypsy: A Musical Fable by Arthur Laurents is one of the great masterpieces of musical theatre. Soaring with Jule Styne’s melodies and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics, GYPSY is based on the memoirs of the famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. The musical tells the story of Rose, the ultimate stage mother, and her dream to raise her daughters Louise and June to become stars on the vaudeville circuit and ultimately the legitimate stage. Through their success Rose will gain fulfillment for her own failed venture into show business. In real life, Louise became Gypsy Rose Lee and Baby June, movie star June Havoc. Mama Rose has become arguably the greatest female role in musical theatre due to its emotion, complexity and powerful songs.
(Photo: Leslie Uggams.)
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Rocks!
Eugene O'Neill Theater 's National Theater Conference.Photo by Vincent Scarano
By Bonnie Goldberg
What good is a big secret if you can't share it with someone? The big summer secret in Connecticut is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford. Considering it has been around for a glorious 50 years, it's about time the creative cat is let out of the bag. Founded in 1964, it is the official workshop of new works and new artists. Every summer it opens its lovely campus in the rolling hills of Waterford for weeks of "incubating new babies" for the American stage and, the most wonderful part, you are invited to attend and be directly involved in the exciting birthing process.
The American Civil War has ended, but the terrible task of cleaning up the mess – and trying to make sense of it all – has only just begun. That work falls in large part to the eccentric savant Private William T. Clarke working in an obscure and mysterious division of The War Department, sorting through unmanageable mountains of records housed now in Ford’s Theater, dark since Lincoln’s assassination there three years before. Clarke, who is fighting demons of his own, finds his strange and insular domain invaded by three desperate visitors in the same day, each looking for something precious lost in the war, unearthing tense and powerful emotions buried just below the surface. Unfortunately, Clarke may be the only person who can help them, and the war may not be over yet.
June was devoted to an International Puppetry Conference and now July is here to welcome a pair of new musicals for you to enjoy. The first is THE WAR DEPT
with Libretto, Music, & Lyrics by Jim Bauer and Libretto, Art, & Video Direction by Ruth Bauer, with staged readings: Wednesday, July 2 at 8pm and Friday, July 4 at 7pm.
Articles of Interest:
Click here to read Frank Rizzo's artcle on Split Knuckle Theatre Company
Click here to read Frank Rizzo's artcle on what's up next for Tony winner Darko Tresnjak
Blogs of Interest
Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.
Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater
Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists
susangranger.com -- movie reviews
CT Arts Connection
WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review)
www.courant.com/curtain (Frank Rizzo reviews)
www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews)
www.nytheaterscene.com (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)
Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments
Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews