Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 - Marloo Theatre
WITH a mix of allure and mystique, Darlington’s Marloo Theatre is bringing the colourful story of famous burlesque stripper Gypsy Rose Lee to the stage next month.

The musical Gypsy covers her life over two decades while also exploring the rise and fall of burlesque and vaudeville entertainment in the US.

Directed by Dannielle Ashton and Manuao TeAotonga – also the show’s choreographer – the musical is based on Lee’s memoirs and was written for veteran musical performer Ethel Merman to play her mother.

Both directors originally planned to direct Gypsy individually at different venues but decided to combine their talents after discovering each other’s interest in the show.

“I love to be challenged by a work that has substance and depth,” Ashton said.

Gypsy is based on the true story of Lee’s family and her upbringing, which is filled with neglect and abuse.

“Her journey shows her grappling through, and succeeding, as the world’s most famous burlesque stripper.”

TeAotonga adds: “The story explores the lengths someone will go for stardom and at what cost.

“Burlesque is hugely popular at the moment and this production tells the story of the girl that changed history by transforming something that was considered vulgar and sleazy into a class act.”

There is an old adage in the world of entertainment – never work with children or animals – and Gypsy has both.

“We have been trying for months to secure a baby lamb for the production but there is a shortage of them at the moment,” TeAotonga said.

“We would also need to find a ‘lamb wrangler’ who would be prepared to feed the lamb every few hours, which is no easy task.

“If our audience sees a live lamb on stage, then we have been successful!”

Ashton said working with a cast of more than 40 people has been her main challenge.

“It’s such a spectacular show full of colour, life and action and it’s been a lot of hard work to coordinate such a large-scale musical,” she said.

Former St Brigid’s College student Samantha Warne plays the title role in Gypsy and describes the production as a “wonderful learning experience”.

“This is only my second lead role and it’s quite an intimidating one,” she said.

“I’m not the most coordinated person either so the strip scene makes me a little nervous.

“There would be nothing worse than stacking it on stage in nothing but jewelled underwear.”

Gypsy plays at 7.30pm, June 24, 25, 29, July 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16 with 2pm matinees June 26, July 3 and 10.

Tickets are $25, $21 concession. Book on (08) 9255 1783.

Marloo Theatre is on Marloo Road (off Innamincka Road), Greenmount.

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Marloo Theatre

Marloo Theatre was established to encourage participation in all aspects of theatrical arts. Formalised from an existing group in the artistic hills of Darlington east of Perth, Western Australia in 1956, early performances were in the local hall, formerly a wine cellar. The local shire built the main hall next to the existing hall in 1960, and later rebuilt the stage house and added the verandah and toilet block to the structure in 1978.

Competing pressure from other hall users forced the theatre to look for other premises, and in 1984 they took up a lease on the disused old Greenmount Primary School in Marloo Road.Several building projects financed from their own resources and from Federal, State and local government grants.
Danielle Ashton
P: 0400438695
W: www.marlootheatre.com


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