The dominating, iconic character of Rose – the overbearing stage mother in the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy – has been played by some of the greatest performers in the world of musical theatre.
The list includes Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Rosalind Russell, Patti LuPone and Bet Midler, to name a few.
Denise Munroe, playing Rose in the upcoming Chilliwack Players Guild production of Gypsy, is following in the footsteps of those superb performers but is not at all cast in the shadow of their reflected greatness.
The play, based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, tells the complex tale of Rose Hovick and her two girls June and Louise, as they struggle through life in show business.
Munroe admits that it can be somewhat daunting to contemplate those that have played the part before. But she’s making the role her own, and is looking forward to hitting the stage on opening night with her fellow cast members for a great show.
She is no stranger to musical theatre having appeared in Anne of Green Gables and Fiddler on The Roof for The Guild and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Coat for Opening Night Theatre in Mission.
Munro has further “paid her dues” to the local drama industry appearing in The Guild’s murder mystery Post Mortem and the romantic drama Sabrina Fair, and doing make-up design backstage.
While rehearsals can often be more stressful than show nights, Munro and director Tina Sharkey have worked together on productions before, developing the rapport which makes the creative process a lot of fun.
She’s looking forward to sharing the story of Rose, her two daughters, and the fascinating worlds of Vaudeville and Burlesque with local audiences.
With a cast of over thirty performers in period costumes, and a host of great musical numbers like ‘Let Me Entertain You,’ ‘Small World,’ and ‘Everything’s Coming up Roses,’ this production will be a feast for the senses.
If you’re planning to see only one award-winning Broadway musical this year, make it Gypsy.
Produced by Sue Klinck, Gypsy features Nelly Fargeon as stage manager, Trischa Buhler as Musical Director, Krista Lanigan as Vocal Director, Cary Zacharias as Choreographer. Costume design is by Mary Spani, and set design is by Robb Sharkey.
Gypsy runs April 21 to 30 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre (9201 Corbould Street). Matinee (2 p.m.) shows run April 24 and April 30. Evening shows (7:30 p.m.) run April 21 to 23, and April 27 to 30.
Tickets are $25 for adults or $20 for students and seniors and are available at the Box Office, at chilliwackculturalcentre.ca or 604-391-SHOW.
Visit playersguild.ca to learn more.