“EVERYTHING‘s comin’ up roses”, sang musical theatre luminary Geraldine Turner in the Manhattan room at Queanbeyan’s Royal Hotel this morning (October 25).
Turner was in town to give some street cred to an announcement by The Q – Queanbeyan’s performing arts centre, of a big production coming up in 2019 of “Gypsy“ – one of the most feted musicals ever written, with the book by Arthur Laurent, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. In it Turner will at long-last play the coveted role of pushy showbiz mum, “Mamma Rose”.
Like The Q’s announcement last week about the formation of a new theatre company called Echo Theatre, the launch was strong on pizzazz and short on detail, although as Turner belted out the musical’s most famous showstopper, there was a sense of hope that things might be coming up roses for the Q.
The Q’s program manager, Stephen Pike, said the planned four week season, scheduled to run from April to May next year, which would be a venture into “pro-am” theatre for The Q, had already been cast with a mixture of novices and veterans. The latter including former Canberra professionals John Cuffe and Tamara Ross, who would play, respectively, the characters Pop and Renée.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council’s portfolio general manager of community choice, Jacquelyn Richards, is also a choreographer to note and told those present that she would take on that side of the production, which will be a collaboration between The Q, Turner, and veteran professional director Rodney Delaney, who said he and Pike had been talking about doing “Gypsy” for years.
Richards said that she believed that the plot of “Gypsy”, which is to do with a mother and her daughters getting into showbiz, was apt, since the production would provide an opportunities for young hopefuls who’d never worked with professionals.
Two of those young hopefuls, twins Theo and Maisie Molloy, sang “Let Me Entertain You”, assuring the words of the song, “You’ll have a barrel of fun”.
It is understood that the enormous production will be underwritten by Council and private sponsors for an undisclosed six-figure amount.
“Gypsy”, at The Q, Queanbeyan, April 24 to May 18. Bookings to theq.net.au or 6285 6290.