Marin Summer Theater opens its 2013 season with a production of GYPSY on July 4, 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13 at the Emily Gates Student Center at San Marin High School. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.marinsummertheater.org and at the San Marin High School business office. Tickets may also be purchased at the door before each performance until sold out.
GYPSY, one of the greatest musicals ever written, is the story of the ultimate stage mother and her daughters. It is a musical based on the real-life story of burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee, who in 1940 was voted the most popular woman in America, outpolling even Eleanor Roosevelt. The rhinestone splendors of vaudeville are brought to life with Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's zesty songs as Madam Rose drags her daughters June and Louise from one second-rate theatre to another. The GYPSY score includes the popular standards "Everything's Coming up Roses", "Together (Wherever We Go)", "Small World", "Some People", "Let Me Entertain You", "All I Need Is the Girl", and "Rose's Turn".
The MST production of GYPSY includes over fifty MST company members; college, university, high school and middle school students from all over the Bay Area. The show includes a sixteen piece live orchestra under the direction of Emily Gates. The average age of the 2013 MST company is seventeen-years-old and the majority of the cast, crew and orchestra attend schools in Novato, San Rafael, Larkspur and San Francisco.
Novato resident and recent Marin School of the Arts at Novato High School graduate Lily Hahn plays Louise Hovick, who later took the stage name Gypsy Rose Lee. In GYPSY Hahn plays two very different personas: Louise, who is a shy tomboy; and Gypsy, the outgoing and confident sex-symbol that Louise becomes. Lily Hahn recently was awarded a National Youth Theater Arts award for her performance as Vivienne Kensington in the 2012 MST production of Legally Blonde.
“Working on GYPSY has meant learning about the mentality of both a child performer and a domineering stage mother. People are increasingly aware of the negative effects of stage parents on child stars,” Hahn said. “It's easy to sympathize with the children so much that a stage mother's underlying issues can be completely forgotten. Gypsy exposes the points of view of both the little girl coerced into stardom and the mother desperate to give her daughter the life she could never have”
Bouket Fingerhut, an MST veteran, Marin native and Academy of Art University student, plays the role of Rose Hovick, better known as Momma Rose. The part of Momma Rose is legendary and it is considered one of the greatest and most challenging parts for women in American theater. The part has been played by some the best stage actresses in the last 50 years including Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daley, Bernadette Peters, and most recently Patti Lapone.
“Rose is constantly pushing me to be a strong individual, who never gives up and keeps pushing forward. Rose was a remarkable woman and having the chance to play this role is a dream come true,” Fingerhut said.
“GYPSY is an amazing show”, said GYPSY director Patrick Nims. “We have wanted to present it for a number of years because the story, the music, and the dancing are so fantastic. It is especially gratifying to have a show that features so many strong women. GYPSY set the standard and re-defined the direction of the modern American musical. It is the perfect blend of silly and serious.”
GYPSY is the first MST production to includ actors under the age of thirteen. This has given the older members of the company a chance to work with a younger age group and allowing students at a younger age the chance to perform on stage.
The MST 2013 season also includes the play ALMOST, MAINE, and the musical LES MISÉRABLES. Both will be performed in July as well. ALMOST, MAINE will be presented at the Novato High School Performing Arts Center and LES MISÉRABLES will be presented at San Marin High School.
In addition to these three demanding shows, MST has expanded its performance schedule by presenting GYPSY and LES MISÉRABLES for two weekends each. The need for more performances became apparent during the 2012 season. "The shows were so well received in 2012 that we could have run each of them for a month and still had an audience. We've decided to add performances to both musicals in 2013 so we can build our audience and more people can see them. It will be very demanding, but our kids can do it,” said Nims, who also serves as MST’s Artistic Director.
Marin Summer Theater has received eleven nominations and four awards for its 2012 season from National Youth in Arts (NYA) in the eighth annual Youth Arts Awards. MST earned nominations for all three of its 2012 productions of SPRING AWAKENING,THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and LEGALLY BLONDE, THE MUSICAL. Of the eleven nominations, four went on to win awards. Due to the rules of NYA, only performers under nineteen-years-old are considered, with occasional exceptions made for outstanding Guest Artists over eighteen-years-old. Students under nineteen made up approximately sixty percent of the 2012 MST Company.
Marin Summer Theater (MST) is a 501(c)3 theater company comprised of students of performing arts under the age of 24 and includes actors, singers, dancers, musicians, directors, designers, technicians, and crew. MST prepares and presents three fully-staged productions in a six-week summer season. MST's mission is twofold: To enrich the community by presenting exciting, professional quality live theater; to provide a venue for theater arts students to apply and expand their skills regardless of financial means.
2013 will be MST’s fifth season. Ticket prices range from $7.50 for preview performances to $25.00 for reserved seating at regular performances. Tickets, schedules and More information about MST can be found at www.marinsummertheater.org.