Bay Area Musicals presents Gypsy, a musical fable November 9 to December 8

Remember the songs Everything’s Coming Up Roses and Let Me Entertain You? If you’re longing to experience them in the setting of a full stage production, Bay Area Musicals opens its fifth season with the ambitious, iconic Gypsy.

This six-time Tony winner takes its inspiration from the beloved stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. But its central character is really Rose Hovick, the quintessential stage mom.

Rose is a single mother who lives her dreams of show biz stardom through her daughters. No one has ever created a character quite like Rose. Sondheim described her as “a very American character, a gallant figure and a life force.”

Gypsy features music by Jule Styne, and book by Arthur Laurents. Stephen Sondheim stepped in as lyricist when Irving Berlin and Cole Porter said no. This was only his second lyric-writing gig, following West Side Story.

Gypsy has an epic climactic scene. Rose, feeling hurt and left out of Louise’s new life as a smash hit burlesque star, self-pityingly sings the uber-dramatic Rose’s Turn. What makes a musical legendary? The characters become the songs. And the audience lives the lives of the characters along with them.

You might want to leave kids under ten at home; the curtain goes down at 10:40 p.m.

Bay Area Musicals brings the Bay Area professional musical theater without the stratospheric prices.

Gypsy runs from November 9th through December 8th at the Alcazar Theatre, 650 Geary Street in San Francisco. Tickets are $40 to $100.

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