Gypsy: A Musical Fable
  A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse...

 

 

Praise for Anna's Performance in "Gypsy" at the Spokane Civic Theatre
by Heidi Duty
 

Anna did a phenomenal job of portraying the complexities of a woman with goals far exceeding those of polite society.  Rose, the character who was mother to the infamous burlesque legend Gypsy Rose Lee, was the driving force behind the star’s comically intellectual celebration of human sexuality.

Anna sensitively depicted a woman whose passionate focus on her daughters’ success set her apart from women in her era.  Her daughters, June and Louise, evidently would have preferred a simpler life with a stable home.  Instead, their mother, thrice divorced and nomadic in her living habits, drove them all over the country with an act she was determined to have shown on the infamous Orpheum Circuit.

Anna’s character, Rose, indefatigably renewed and promoted her daughters’ act until her “golden child”, June, ran away.  At last, Rose is left with an agent come gentleman caller who could no longer wait for her to settle down to become his wife.  She is also sidled with a young daughter whose desire to make it big is less an ambition than her desire to eat dinner that evening.  Louise was always in the supporting role to her lovely sister, June.  Economics look desperate for the mother and daughter, so the two support one another in Louise’s first striptease act.

The tale of how Louise reinvents herself as Gypsy Rose Lee shows a daughter’s love for a mother who refused to give up.  Gypsy’s desire to enjoy the success any professional deserves was greater than her desire to win Rose’s approval. Gypsy, much to Rose’s horror, turns one night of striptease into a world famous act.  Gypsy’s indelible imprint on entertainment was the fruition of two women who mocked failure with their moxie.  Rose, realizing that she did live vicariously through her daughters’ performances, finally commends Gypsy’s success after scorning her daughter’s brilliant burlesque.

Anna drove a fine performance in this ode to entertainment history for this unique art form.  More stellar than her performance is her contribution to the Inland Empire community.  Every performer in Gypsy was a star, especially my dear friend, Ronny Oliver, who played Angie.  Anna does well what every responsible celebrity should do: she casts stardust on all those in her world.