Mama Rose is a role Janet Beatty-Payne waited more than 30 years to play, and she totally rocks it in Las Cruces Community Theatre’s (LCCT) production of “Gypsy,” which continues for two more weekends at LCCT, 313 N. Main St. downtown.
Beatty-Payne gave the performance of a lifetime opening night in this iconic role she was born to play, belting out “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and joining co-stars Cassandra Galban and Dustin Wright in “Together Wherever We Go.”
Just like LCCT’s production of “Matilda” earlier this year, “Gypsy” is, from first note to final bow, an outstanding show, and you should see it.
In the role of Louise (Gypsy Rose Lee, upon whose life and career as a burlesque performer the Tony-winning musical is loosely based) Galban continues to prove she is one of the most talented and versatile performers in Las Cruces. Wright, a newcomer to the LCCT stage, was perfect in the role of Herbie.
No one could steal this show from Beatty-Payne, Galban and Wright, but several actors did their very best. Rachel Thomas-Chappel, Xanthe Phillips and Rocio Chavez were brilliant as strippers Tessie Tura, Mazeppa and Electra. Jamin Bever was an excellent Tulsa, Taden Garzon and Rachel Snow were so great as June and Baby June, along with Makena Tellez as Baby Louise. Gabriella Azollini, Erica Padron, Charlie Bever and Jeanne Hornsby were terrific as the Toreoadorables, as were AJ Tumminaro, Braden Gonzales and Penny Bever as the Farm Boys. Friday made his debut as Chowsie the Dog.
I wish I had space to credit the more than a dozen other actors in this outstanding cast. They all deserve gold stars.
Huge credit goes to director and co-choreographer Constance Hasapopoulos for assembling this amazing cast and crew and guiding them in creating another memorable show in what has to be one of very best of LCCT’s 60 seasons.
I was so impressed with the video (thank you, Vanessa Velarde) used to seamlessly cover scene changes. Set designer Doug Roby did some of his best work ever – and that’s saying something, considering his long and brilliant work for LCCT. Roby, who somehow also found time to play three roles in “Gypsy,” credits a construction crew that volunteered more than 500 man hours “building this complicated set.”
Kudos also go to music director Maryel Arias-Anderson, stage manager Debbie Kocab, costumer designer Richard Frederick, costumer Jinny Hornsby, co-choreographer Anna Robillard, light and sound designer Dan Robillard, props designer/mistress Pat Roby and Lara Dunton and techs Alecks Rundell, David Barela, Brittany Ramirez and Jessie Ortega.
“Gypsy: A Musical Fable” was written by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents.
Remaining performances of “Gypsy” are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, June 9-10, and 16-17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 11, and June 18.
Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, students and miliary and $10 for children.
Visit www.lcctnm.org/gypsy to purchase tickets online. Tickets will also be available at the box office before each show; reservations are recommended.